It is entirely possible that the U.S. will ring in the new year without a USAID Administrator in place. What was hard to believe at the 100 day mark (already behind the prior five Administrations) is now astonishing. So many pressing issues desperately in need of a full-time development voice at the White House decision making table from the very broad – how to restore America's reputation in the world – to the very specific – how to seriously integrate an economic growth scenario into our Af-Pak strategy and how to execute our new promises in global health, food security and (soon) climate change.
No USAID Administrator in place at the end of the Obama Administration's first year? It is indeed possible. Take out your calendar and work backwards with me. The last possible week for a confirmation in 2009 would be December 14th. This requires a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Business Meeting to vote the nominee through, the earliest of which would then be December 8th. Which means the actual confirmation hearing would need to occur the week of December 1st. Confirmation hearings are generally preceded by a two-week period of paperwork and vetting review by Congress, and "meet and greet" sessions with Congressional members and staffers, putting us at November 9th/10th (allowing for Thanksgiving recess week) for the Administration to send up a nominee. Which, given what we all now know about the vetting process, means if we are to have a USAID Administrator nominee by November 10th, it will likely need to be a candidate who has completed or is close to completing the vetting process.
Is it possible? What do you think? Are there risks to rushing to instate an already-vetted candidate? Are there already-vetted candidates you think could do the job? Send a message with your vote.
UPDATE: Due to a high number of write-in votes, Jack Lew and Rick Barton have been added to the poll.
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