A Fresh Look at CGD's Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Initiative: Your Ideas Wanted

May 16, 2012

I'm delighted to be taking over the reins of CGD's Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Initiative. Many of you know me as CGD’s director of policy outreach and my contributions to CGD’s MCA Monitor and Rethink program. As the incoming director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Initiative—effective June 4th—I'll be building on the strong foundation of the previous directors, Sheila Herrling and Connie Veillette. And I'm eager to hear your ideas.The goal of the program remains the same: to provide a one-stop shop for timely, relevant analysis on U.S. development assistance. As in the past, the primary focus will be on reporting, analysis and commentary on the mission, mandate and organizational structure of U.S. aid agencies such as USAID and MCC and their interactions with other U.S. development actors, such as the State Department and Pentagon.  The program will also track presidential development initiatives like Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative.

I also plan to look beyond aid, where appropriate, to consider related U.S. policies in areas such as trade, migration, investment, environment, security and technology. The U.S. government has embraced the view that development policy is more than aid (see the Presidential Policy Directive on U.S. Global Development Policy), an idea long championed by my colleagues here at CGD, so it seems only appropriate that our Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Initiative should reflect this, too.So in the months ahead, you’ll not only be hearing more from me but also from my CGD colleagues when their work touches on U.S. development policy, as with Vijaya Ramachandran and Julie Walz’s new policy paper on the (un)accountability of U.S. aid in Haiti. I’m happy that CGD policy analyst Casey Dunning and research assistant Will McKitterick will continue to bring their hard work, brains, and enormous energy to the program.Most of all, Rethink's content should be useful to you. What’s on your wish list for what we should cover? What should we drop? And how do you like to receive your U.S. development policy re-thinking? Blog? Email? Wonkcast? Tweets? Carrier pigeon? Share your suggestions as comments on this blog or send to me directly. I'm looking forward to hearing from you and navigating upcoming U.S. global development issues together over the coming months.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.