January 13, 2021 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels, and Tessie San Martin.
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) commends President-Elect Biden for the nomination of Ambassador Samantha Power to serve as the next Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). At a time when the United States faces immense global challenges, including the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed leadership at our lead development agency is essential. We applaud President-elect Biden for recognizing the importance of having strong leadership at the helm of the world’s premier development agency on day one.
Ambassador Power brings a wealth of knowledge to this position, including from her time as U.S Ambassador to the United Nations and as a senior member of President Obama’s National Security Council staff. In her time in the Obama administration, she led on issues with development at their core, including the West Africa Ebola outbreak, the Paris climate agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals. As a former member of President Obama’s cabinet, she will be a strong voice for humanitarian and development issues in U.S. foreign policy.
As long advocated for by our coalition, MFAN is pleased to see that as USAID Administrator, Ambassador Power will be elevated to the National Security Council, reflecting the critical role that development and humanitarian work plays in achieving U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives. This decision will help to formalize the elevation of development alongside defense and diplomacy as the three legs of American influence abroad.
“Ambassador Power brings a keen understanding of global challenges and a stature that will ensure that USAID plays a strong role in the Biden administration’s foreign policy,” said Lester Munson, MFAN co-chair and Principal at the BGR Group.
“Including the [USAID] Administrator on the National Security Council is an important step that will cement the elevation of global development,” said Larry Nowels, MFAN co-chair. “This is a step that MFAN has long advocated for and we are pleased that the Biden administration made this decision.”
“I am pleased that President-elect Biden is nominating Ambassador Power as USAID Administrator even before his Inauguration. Ambassador Power’s experience and expertise are what the job calls for, especially now. Her stature will help restore USAID’s role as a leader in international development and integrate development as an essential piece of U.S. foreign assistance,” said Tessie San Martin, MFAN co-chair and President and CEO of Plan International USA.
MFAN urges the Senate to hold a confirmation hearing and swiftly confirm Ambassador Power as Administrator.