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Introducing CGD’s New Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Director: Connie Veillette

Starting Monday, CGD will have a new director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Initiative: Connie Veillette. Connie is well-known to many of our readers from her previous role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she worked alongside Senator Lugar and his colleagues as the principal minority committee staff for foreign assistance, aid reform and food security issues.

Sudan – Southern Secession, Oil, and Debt Relief

This post also appeared on the Huffington Post.

Next week, President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and other global leaders will meet with Sudanese leadership to discuss the upcoming referendum. The stakes are huge. In January, southern Sudanese will vote on whether to secede and launch a new, independent country. It’s hard to imagine them not supporting the breakaway vote given their decades’ long fight for independence. Roughly 2 million people died in that struggle. The multi-million dollar question is – what will Khartoum do? Will they let the referendum happen? Will it be fair and transparent? If so, will they respect the results? The meeting next week will grapple with these critical issues.

Clearly, Khartoum has a lot of lose.