The Development Finance Corporation at Six Months: Early Successes and Challenges

On October 25, 2018, President Trump signed the BUILD Act, one of the most significant reforms to U.S. foreign assistance in decades. The BUILD Act combined the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) with USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) into a new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The new DFC has a strengthened mandate to focus on development, as well as a higher investment limit ($60 billion); the authority to make equity investments and provide technical assistance; and extensive new oversight and risk management provisions.

With the enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations act on December 20, 2019, the DFC officially opened its doors. In the first six months, the Corporation, led by CEO Adam Boehler, has appointed a Chief Development Officer and issued a new Impact Quotient to measure development impact. At a recent meeting, DFC’s board approved more than $1 billion in new projects. President Trump has also used the Defense Production Act to authorize the DFC to make domestic investments aimed at strengthening the U.S. medical supply chain.

Our expert panel assesses the significance of these developments and highlights some additional challenges for DFC in the coming months. The panelists note areas where congressional engagement is needed to ensure the DFC fulfills the ambitious goals that Congress set for it. See the full panel discussion, featuring Rob Mosbacher (Former President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation); Alix Peterson Zwane (CEO, Global Innovation Fund); and Erin Collinson (Director of Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development) above.

 

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