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Archive for the ‘State Department’ Category

Sec. Clinton Speaks at CARE National Conference

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
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MFAN Partner CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting poverty worldwide, is holding its National Conference and Celebration today and tomorrow in Washington, DC.  The conference is an opportunity for CARE supporters to meet and discuss issues affecting global poverty, as well as a call to action for Congress and the Obama Administration to prioritize these issues and help create a better future.  Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton keynoted the conference.  Watch the video below for her full remarks:

Patrick Cronin on How to Rebuild USAID

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
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Patrick CroninPatrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), published an op-ed in the Daily Caller in response to Monday’s leaked Presidential Study Directive (PSD-7) draft, “A New Way Forward on Global Development.”  Cronin acknowledges the many positive reforms in the draft, but points to the challenges that lie in implementation.  See excepts from his piece below and read the full oped here:

“The restoration of USAID will take herculean reform and uncommon patience, if it is even possible at all. No doubt leaking the Presidential Study Directive this week, in advance of the National Security Strategy and months before the completion of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, was deliberate. The Obama administration (or at least a portion of it) figures it can stake out its agenda (and perhaps claim on resources) before the rest of the interagency consumes all of the policy and budget oxygen inside the Beltway. As with development itself, however, this directive will only be as good or bad as its implementation, and on that score there are many questions that will need to be addressed.”

“All of this is exemplary. The hard bits are its agenda are embedded in the rest of the directive, which calls for a deliberate development policy, a new business model, a new architecture, and a new compact with Congress.”

“The directive assumes the acquiescence of the State Department, which hitherto has made clear that development programs must be conducted within the context of policy made at Foggy Bottom. Will State loosen its reins over policy, including development policy, in order to give USAID the autonomy to work effectively and make America a global leader in development? There are sound reasons for letting development work free from much of the short-term thinking of foreign policy. At the same time, will the State Department and the White House, for that matter, really have confidence that USAID will be there when it is needed to stabilize conflict and post-conflict states or when development is a useful part of a whole-of-government response? The directive includes paragraphs on each of these two points. The forthcoming QDDR report in September will be telling, as least with respect to how far President Obama will go in making USAID more independent once again.”

Lew, Shah Outline Obama Administration’s Food Security Plans

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
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Jack LewRaj ShahIn a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Jack Lew and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah provided an update on the status of the Administration’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative (GHFSI).

Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) opened the hearing by calling food insecurity “a challenge to our broader development efforts” as well as a challenge to our national security.  He also referenced the proposed $4 billion cut in international affairs spending in the budget resolution passed out of the Senate Budget Committee, saying, “Even in a tough budget environment, short-changing programs like these, in our judgment, will deliver little budget relief at enormous negative consequence to our global efforts… And it seems to me that it is wrong, and we will fight against any efforts to reduce the president’s request for a small increase, which is essential to the transformation of our foreign policy efforts and frankly to the recalibration of the allocation of resources between defense and diplomacy and humanitarian efforts.”

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Rozen Reports on FA Debate, USGLC Letter

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
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The National Security Council Deputies Committee meeting last week continues to generate buzz with a recent post by Politico blogger Laura Rozen.  Yesterday, Rozen posted a piece that focused on frustration felt on Capitol Hill among members and staff over the lack of significant consultation during the review processes for the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) and the White House’s Presidential Study Directive on Global Development Policy (PSD-7):

“We recognize there is not consensus within the administration for what is the appropriate direction for foreign assistance reform,” one Hill staffer told POLITICO. “We think it’s appropriate for us to have input in shaping that process and look forward to shaping that process.”

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President Obama’s Remarks from Entrepreneurship Summit

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
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Last night, President Obama spoke at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship – the first summit to build off his promise of a “new beginning” from last year’s speech in Cairo.  The Summit, co-hosted by the Departments of State and Commerce, is a step toward building closer ties between the U.S. and Muslim communities worldwide.  In his remarks, President Obama noted recent efforts taken to strengthen partnership that include expanding educational exchanges, collaborating on global health issues with the Organization of Islamic Conference, and fostering innovation in science and technology.  He also noted steps the U.S. has taken to improve relations:

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