Senators Prod White House on USAID Appointment

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No news is definitely not good news when it comes to this sore subject: the vacancy at the helm of USAID.

Reports out today indicate that lawmakers in Congress are as anxious as the rest of us about the fact that this agency is rudderless, at a time when the Obama Administration is seeking to revamp foreign aid and development policies.

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., have sent a letter to the Administration urging the White House to appoint a USAID leader—and fast. Preferably, the two top lawmakers on the Foreign Relations Committee say, it should be someone who’s already been vetted. Here’s a blog post on the Kerry-Lugar letter from the Cable, which also delves into the status of Congressional efforts to overhaul foreign aid.

On that very same subject, we direct your attention to this very interesting, meaty opinion piece by former US Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul, who talks about how PEPFAR worked because it broke “all the rules” by sidestepping government bureaucracy and forging a new approach to development aid. Lawmakers should look to PEPFAR as a model as they move ahead with foreign assistance reform, Dybul argues in this piece.

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