On Friday, President Obama nominated Daniel W. Yohannes as CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. He currently serves as the CEO of M&R Investments, LLC, a private investment firm focusing on real estate, finance, and green energy. His previous experience includes Vice Chairman of U.S. Bank for the Commercial Banking Group, head of Integration for Community and Public Affairs, and President and CEO of U.S. Bank. Yohannes’ strong financial services background will ensure he is focused on gaining good returns on U.S. development investments through the MCC. His wealth of leadership experience positions him to be an effective manager of this critical development institution.
While Yohannes’ nomination is certainly a step forward, it nonetheless highlights the fact that we are still without a USAID Administrator. Despite pledges to elevate development as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy, made by both the President and Secretary Clinton, there is still no leader in place nine months into the new administration. And momentum from other branches of government indicates that the time to act is now. With the QDDR process in State, the recently announced PSD in the White House, and draft legislation in the House (H.R. 2139) and Senate (S. 1524) we are more positioned than ever before to make foreign assistance reform happen. To facilitate this reform, and prevent more fragmentation of U.S. development, we need a USAID Administrator.