On Monday, I will join USAID as Director of Evaluation, Policy Analysis & Learning. In this position, I'll be supporting initiatives that are already underway to apply the best available evidence to decisions at many levels, and to generate new knowledge as an integral part of the agency’s work. This reflects a major priority throughout the administration, and particularly for USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and it is a tremendous opportunity to extend work that I've done with others at the Center for Global Development. I know from my many interactions with USAID staff over many years that the agency is filled with dedicated, talented, and experienced professionals, and I’m looking forward to being able to contribute to their work.
And, yes, it is hard to leave CGD.
The Center is a remarkable and rare place, and over the past eight years it has been the finest professional home I could ever have imagined. I am profoundly grateful for the chance to have been part of the start-up of the Center. I will take with me everything I’ve learned along the way from Nancy Birdsall, Ed Scott, my colleagues and our ever-expanding network of technical experts, members of the policy community and supporters.
CGD, and the Center’s global health policy program, will thrive over the years to come, and I look forward to being on the receiving end of research findings, advice, and the occasional polite but pointed critiques when we fall short—which is perhaps unavoidable in the complex world of development policy and practice. The value of an independent, thoughtful, empirically-grounded and pragmatic voice on development issues is profound, and will only increase in the future as the problems get harder, and the dance of policymaking calls for fewer timid steps and more brave leaps.