December 12, 2022 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels and Tessie San Martin.
“MFAN mourns the passing of former Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), a former co-chair of MFAN. Kolbe passed away on December 3rd at the age of 80. As a Republican Member of Congress from Arizona from 1986-2007 and a former chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, Kolbe was a staunch advocate for more robust and effective U.S. foreign assistance. He played a lead role in Congress in the creation of landmark development programs, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), all of which helped make development a pillar of U.S. foreign policy alongside diplomacy and defense. Mr. Kolbe joined MFAN as a co-chair in 2011 and was a good friend to many of us.
“Jim was a highly respected leader for decades who worked across the aisle to build bipartisan consensus on foreign assistance and a range of other international and domestic policy issues,” said Lester Munson. “His passion and expertise around foreign aid effectiveness was a tremendous asset for our coalition and will be sorely missed.”