The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding its nomination hearing on USAID Administrator-designate Rajiv Shah today. You can watch it live, online, on the newly redesigned website of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (welcome out of the 1990s, guys!)  In all seriousness, this is the first opportunity for an in-depth query of someone who is a relatively unknown entity. I look forward to hearing Shah’s views on how USAID can be strengthened as an institution of American foreign policy. 

UPDATE:  You can read Shah’s submitted testimony here. I particularly like this bit

If confirmed, I will do everything I can to champion the Agency, ensuring it is empowered, respected and well resourced. But in order to fully leverage and support their capacity to lead a 21st century development enterprise, we also need to create business processes that allow them to succeed.

This starts with human resources, and I want to thank the Committee for its support in this endeavor, especially through the Development Leadership Initiative. USAID still needs to fill a critical shortage of experienced middle and senior-level managers as well as recruit additional highly-competent technical professionals – both here in Washington, and, crucially out in the field. [emphasis mine]

This is right on. In 1975 there were 4,300 USAID staff. Today there are fewer than half that number. The role of USAID has also shifted in recent years. Today, most USAID employees manage contracts and do not, by-and-large do the kind of in-the-field development work that one would expect from the country’s premier development agency. In one telling example, an October 2008 report by the American Academy of Diplomacy found that USAID employed only five engineers worldwide, despite a significant number of activities that require engineering skills. 

Of course, bringing that kind of expertise in-house requires additional resources.  In 1997 the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms, set his sites on foreign aid, which he famously likened to “throwing money down a rat hole.” In zealous pursuit of this goal, Helms held up a number of items before the Senate that the Clinton administration considered important priorities. (This included, among other things, ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.) The price that Helms extracted for his letting these items to the Senate floor was a massive State Department re-organization that diminished USAID by folding it into the State Department. It was previously a separate cabinet level agency and the director reported directly to the president. To a large degree, re-empowering USAID means undoing the Helms’ damaging legacy to development as a pillar of American foreign policy.

 

UPDATE: Chairman Kerry’s opening statement:

 

We are here today to consider the nomination of Dr. Rajiv Shah to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Today, USAID may be our last major foreign policy agency to have its leadership named, but its mission—poverty reduction and sustainable development—belongs near the top of our list of priorities.

In Rajiv Shah, the Administration has chosen a nominee who values new thinking, believes in ensuring accountability, and brings an impressive record to this new challenge. In his eight years at the Gates Foundation, Dr. Shah became a leading voice on agricultural development, global health, and food security. In May, he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate as an Under Secretary at the Department of Agriculture, managing a staff of over 10,000.

Clearly, Dr. Shah has accomplished a great deal, very quickly. And that is just what we are asking our development institutions to do as they reform and evolve to meet new challenges. The next USAID Administrator confronts a number of choices that will have profound implications for USAID’s institutional future. This is part of a larger struggle over the shape and direction our country’s global development efforts should take.

To find answers, the Administration has embarked on two very important initiatives. The White House has launched a Presidential Study Directive to review global development policy across the entire US Government. The State Department, for its part, has begun a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. We expect interim results early next year. The Committee looks forward to studying them carefully and working with the White House and State Department in genuine partnership to create real reform.

Congress has also been working to reform foreign aid. Just last month, the Committee reported out S. 1524 – the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act. This bipartisan bill, cosponsored by 19 members, is intended as a first step in a larger effort. We will continue to advocate for the broader structural and organizational reforms necessary to create a blueprint for 21st century foreign assistance and development.

To be sure, this is a moment of challenge and flux at USAID. But this is also a moment when people across government recognize that empowering our development agencies and giving them the resources they need is vital to achieving our larger foreign policy goals.

The next USAID Administrator, the de facto voice of development in the US government, will have several important tasks.

The first and most urgent is to ensure that USAID can respond effectively to today’s national security, foreign policy and humanitarian priorities. Broader reform is vital, but that cannot distract us from addressing our current crises. A winning development strategy in Afghanistan, an effective direct partnership with the Pakistani people, and an ongoing civilian effort to sustain recent progress in Iraq as our troops draw down—all are vital to our interests, and each will require a serious effort. What’s more, USAID must be ready to respond when humanitarian crises erupt— whether that means offering emergency relief in the aftermath of a natural disaster, providing food aid to relieve famine, or delivering shelter and supplies to protect refugees.

The second, longer-term challenge is to answer some core questions about the agency’s future. Over the years, Washington has shaped today’s agency through a patchwork of mandates, directives and initiatives. This hasn’t always resulted in a consistent or coherent vision for USAID. By one count, there are now over 140 goals and priorities for U.S. foreign assistance. Now the agency needs to decisively define its roles, responsibilities, and essential mission.

That requires making some difficult choices.

First, we must decide whether USAID will remain the principal US development agency, and whether the Administration is committed to streamlining the proliferation of departments and agencies handling foreign assistance programs today.

Second, we need to strike the proper balance between the State Department and USAID—including how best to reconcile State’s shorter-term diplomatic priorities with USAID’s longer-term development goals.

Third, we have to ask tough questions about whether USAID’s growing national security mission is compatible with its development aims. For example, we must consider whether USAID can participate effectively in counterinsurgency and stabilization operations while maintaining a credible humanitarian presence, or whether these functions demand a new approach altogether.

Dr. Shah, you are being given an opportunity to enact a bold and far-reaching reform agenda. It is encouraging that you come from an institutional culture that rewards the innovation and risk taking that this moment requires. Rarely have so many key players been so willing to tackle tough foreign aid and development issues—including rewriting the Foreign Assistance Act. Today there is a bipartisan commitment to development, and to finally delivering the resources, funding and staffing necessary to have an impact on the ground.

Acting Director Alonzo Fulgham and others have done a commendable job holding down the fort, but today we have an opportunity to fundamentally reshape USAID and our broader development agenda.

Senator Lugar and I have been looking forward to confirming a USAID Administrator for months. Now that we have a nominee, we intend to ensure a timely and fair confirmation process.

The questions being asked today aren’t just bureaucratic. In fact, the answers will affect millions of people in need across the globe, as well as our own country’s strength and security.

We in Congress want to help you seize this moment, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts about the challenges ahead and the future of USAID.

 

UPDATE: Here are the submitted questions and answers:

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#1)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Reporting Relationships

 

 

Question:

 

Please provide further information about the role, responsibilities and lines of authority to the position you have been nominated for. In particular, which official will you directly report to – the Secretary of State or Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources? If confirmed, will you occupy the same position as Henrietta Fore – serving concurrently as the Administrator of USAID and the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, with the rank of Deputy Secretary of State? Will you retain operational control and authority over the State Department’s “F” bureau, also like those predecessors?

 

Answer:

 

Under current law, and consistent with conversations prior to my nomination, I will report to the Secretary of State. If confirmed, I am confident Secretary Clinton and I will have a strong and productive working relationship. I also welcome the opportunity to work closely with Deputy Secretary Lew, who has made clear his commitment to elevating development and working to rebuild capacity at USAID.

 

In terms of the “F Bureau,” as you know the Presidential Study Directive on Global Engagement (“PSD-7”) and joint State/USAID Quadrennial Development and Diplomacy (“QDDR”) are reviewing the question of the best way to organize State and USAID to execute policy effectively. The issue of resources and management is very much a part of these discussions, and I look forward to being an active participant in this conversation if confirmed as Administrator.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#2)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Relationship to F

 

 

Question:

 

If you do not assume jurisdictional authority over the F Bureau, which official will continue to oversee it? Do you think USAID can effectively run a cohesive and coordinated development program without oversight of the F Bureau and without broader oversight over the budgetary and policy functions that guide its development programming?

 

Answer:

 

I believe USAID needs the capacity to plan budgetary requirements and monitor and evaluate performance to support the Secretary’s goals of formulating and executing programs that focus on sustainable outcomes and align with country-owned strategies. The specifics of resource management, budget and structure will be addressed through the QDDR process. I look forward to working with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary Lew to ensure that USAID has the resources it needs to become the world’s leading development agency.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John Kerry (#3)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

USAID as Premier Development Agency

 

Question:

 

You have mentioned the need to restore USAID as a “premier development agency.” Please provide more detail as to what that would entail. Will you seek to rebuild policy capacity at USAID? How will you do this – will you consider reestablishing the defunct Policy Program Coordination Bureau at USAID or the Policy and Strategic Planning Bureau referenced in S. 1524? Will you bring back detailees who are on long-term secondments to the State Department’s F Bureau? How do you plan to counter the discouraging trend of viewing USAID as solely an implementer and not as an integral part of our nation’s foreign policy?

 

Answer:

 

These are very important questions that I have given a lot of thought to in recent weeks. I have been encouraged by meetings with the NSC and leadership of the Department of State. There is broad commitment to, and consensus around, restoring USAID as the world’s premier development agency. Consistent with that goal it is critical that we rebuild all types of capacity at USAID, including policy expertise. I am assured that the Administration is committed to securing the resources USAID needs to effectively carry out its development mission, and Congress has been instrumental in helping to make this possible through its support of the Development Leadership Initiative (DLI).

 

As you know, these goals are at the heart of both the PSD-7 and the QDDR reviews. While it would be premature for me to comment on structural changes before these reviews are completed, I know I share with Secretary Clinton and Deputy Secretary Lew the view that USAID needs to have a strong voice in development policy and planning so that it can effectively articulate the development perspective in the inter-agency and the international arena and increase its development impact. If confirmed, I look forward to co-chairing the QDDR process and serving as a strong voice for development and USAID.

 

With regard to viewing USAID as solely an implementer, the President and the Secretary of State, as well as the Secretary of Defense, have all made it clear that development, along with defense and diplomacy are the three pillars of our foreign and national security policy. To best fulfill that aspiration, I believe USAID must be able to inform policy decisions, develop strategies, and implement programs effectively and efficiently. If confirmed as Administrator, I also hope to engage with Congress and the American people to discuss transparency and participation in our development work.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#4)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Relationship to F

 

 

Question:

 

Over time, USAID has lost its direct line to the Office of Management and Budget, as the State Department has exerted more control and influence over USAID’s budget authority. How do you see USAID’s role in interagency budget negotiations, and should USAID have control over the final allocation of development resources across countries and programs so that meaningful field perspectives are included?

 

 

Answer:

 

I believe the Secretary must provide overall foreign policy resource recommendations to OMB and to the Congress to ensure that diplomacy and development objectives and programs are effectively aligned.

 

Likewise, I believe budget decision-making should include meaningful input from all levels at USAID – including our field staff and country teams. I am committed to working with senior leadership in the Administration to ensure that this is done effectively, and that USAID has the resources necessary to execute comprehensive and effective programs that lead to sustainable outcomes. The QDDR process is reviewing how best to accomplish these and other resource goals and I look forward to being an active participant in those conversations if confirmed as Administrator.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#5)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

Question:

 

We understand that much of the staff that comprises the “F” bureau at the State Department is on TDY or secondment from USAID, and that in fact USAID is continuing to cover the salaries of these employees out of its operating expenses account. Please detail to the Committee how many personnel from USAID are seconded over to State’s F bureau at the moment, which agency is funding their salaries and benefits, and what is the timeline for their length of service at the State Department and when it is anticipated they will return to positions at USAID.

 

Answer:

 

The State Department’s Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance (F) was established in 2006. The Congressional Notification establishing the Office stated that it would include sixty-five (65) USAID positions. USAID staff members make up approximately 60% of F’s staff, with State Department employees comprising approximately 40%.

 

The USAID staff who work within F are not on detail or secondment. They provide a USAID perspective and development expertise that is part of effective foreign assistance programming. They are paid by USAID and perform their duties on behalf of USAID. The USAID Foreign Service Officers in F serve two-year tours, like all other USAID Foreign Service Officers in Washington. The Civil Service employees in F are assigned to permanent USAID positions. These processes and organizational efficiency are under review in the QDDR. If confirmed, I look forward to playing an active role in that review process.

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#6)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Role in NSC Meetings

 

 

Question:

 

USAID’s relative policy influence has declined in recent years and, along with it, the long-term, systems change perspective. Senior-most U.S. policymakers, from the President on down, have not had direct access to a long-term-perspective, international development voice when considering foreign policy issues. At Cabinet meetings, at senior OMB budget meetings, at senior National Security Council meetings, the development focus has been missing. The absence of senior USAID officials from the current White House discussion on Afghanistan policy is the latest manifestation of this arrangement. In particular, many note that the Administrator’s relevance in the interagency is contingent on participation in three areas: (1) attendance at Cabinet meetings; (2) direct access to OMB for USAID budget matters (rather than going through the Secretary); and, (3) attendance at all relevant NSC Principals and Deputies meetings. What is your anticipated level of participation in these three mentioned areas? Will you specifically advocate to be included in all three? Will you push to amend PDD-1, so USAID’s status at principal and deputy committee meetings will be formalized, and precedent-setting?

 

 

Answer:

 

This is a very important question and one that the President and Secretary of State take very seriously. The QDDR and PSD-7 together represent an historic opportunity for USAID and the broader development community to elevate and modernize development as a core pillar of our foreign policy. Part of both of these processes is discussion of how best to ensure that development is represented along with defense and diplomacy in the formulation of United States foreign policy. Should I be confirmed, I look forward to playing an integral role in both of these processes.

 

With regard to Afghanistan, I do want to underscore the interagency approach that Ambassador Holbrooke has taken. The Administration understands the importance of development in Afghanistan. USAID has had the opportunity to inform policy making and, if confirmed, I expect to serve as a voice for development in this – and other – critical policy areas.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#7)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

 

Question:

 

What do you anticipate will be your role in the reform processes currently underway in the Administration, namely the White House Presidential Study Directive on Global Development Policy, and the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review? Do you anticipate you will play an equal role to the principals currently chairing those two efforts?

 

 

Answer:

 

If confirmed, I expect to serve as a co-chair of the QDDR and represent USAID in the PSD-7 process, as has Acting USAID Administrator Alonzo Fulgham. I understand that, to date, USAID has been a full and equal participant in both processes; I expect that will continue to be the case if I am confirmed as Administrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#8)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Foreign Aid Reform

 

 

Question:

 

One of the higher priorities for the Committee is foreign aid reform. On November 17, the Committee reported out S.1524 – the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act – which strengthens the policy capacity of USAID and establishes an independent council to evaluate which programs work and which programs require improvement. What is your perspective on foreign aid reform – would this be a high priority for you? What are some specific reforms you think need to occur? What role do you think USAID should take in the White House global development review and the QDDR? What role do you think Congress has to play in shaping foreign aid reform?

 

Answer:

 

I am committed to strengthening USAID’s capacity and performance so that its operations befit the world’s premier development agency. As a critical part of our foreign assistance infrastructure, USAID must be able to meet the challenges we face today while anticipating those in the months and years ahead. The Agency must be able to account for and learn from our development investments and cooperation. As the President and Secretary have noted, our work must generate demonstrable results and be sustainable by host nations.

 

As a nominee, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on pending legislation. These issues are very much at the heart of the PSD-7 and QDDR processes that are still underway and I look forward to helping to lead these reviews and consult with Congress as they progress, if I am confirmed. USAID’s talented career staff–both in the field and in Washington–have been actively engaged in these efforts and I will continue to seek their counsel. I look forward to working with this Committee and the Congress to discuss ways to make our assistance more effective.

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#9)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Role of USAID Mission Director

 

 

Question:

 

One of the provisions in S. 1524 focuses on development coordination in the field and assigns the USAID Mission Director, under the direction of the Chief of Mission, as responsible for coordinating all development and humanitarian efforts of the U.S. Government in a given country. Do you believe the USAID Mission Director, as the top representative from the lead U.S. development agency, should hold this responsibility? We understand there is a proposal circulating that would establish a second “Deputy Chief of Mission,” reporting through the State Department, who would be responsible for all development activities in a given country. Is this proposal actively being considered for adoption? What are your thoughts on this proposal and its affect on USAID’s mandate in-country?

 

Answer:

 

I believe it is critically important that the Chief of Mission oversee U.S. diplomatic and development efforts in a country to ensure that the USG country team works together to support our overall foreign policy objectives. The USAID Mission Director plays a central role, working with the Ambassador, to coordinate development and humanitarian assistance efforts.

 

The QDDR and PSD-7 are both reviewing the way in which we work across agencies in-country. If confirmed, I will work with both groups to address this issue and will review all proposals to strengthen the coordination of assistance programs.

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#10)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Role of USAID in Foreign Policy

 

 

Question:

 

What is your view about how to balance the need for a strong and independent U.S. development agency on the one hand, with the necessity of coordinating with the State Department and other foreign policy agencies on the other? What is the appropriate role for USAID vis-à-vis the State Department? Do you believe there are valid reasons for why development should remain slightly separate from diplomacy? If so, can you please enumerate?

 

 

Answer:

 

The President and the Secretary of State have made clear that they seek to elevate development as core pillar of USG foreign policy, along with defense and diplomacy. If confirmed, I will be a strong voice for the power of development and look forward to working with the President and the Secretary to ensure it informs our nation’s foreign policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John Kerry (#11)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Top Development Priorities

 

Question:

 

Please discuss your top development priorities if confirmed as the USAID Administrator. What areas and initiatives would you immediately focus on?

 

Answer:

 

The President and the Secretary of State have called for development to stand with diplomacy and defense as core pillars of USG foreign policy. With that frame, my priorities would include serving as a strong development voice for the Administration, addressing critical issues and working to rebuild USAID’s capacities in order for it to become more transparent, accountable and results-oriented.

 

The President has announced that global health and food security will be key development priorities for this Administration. USAID has been actively engaged from the outset in the Global Health Initiative and the Global Food Security Initiative, and USAID will continue to play a leading role in designing and implementing these initiatives. Addressing the complex challenges embedded in each of these areas has been a central focus of my professional career, and I very much look forward to tackling them as Administrator, if confirmed.

 

I am also committed to overseeing the Agency’s work in Afghanistan and Pakistan—working with Ambassador Holbrooke, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and others to ensure that USAID’s expertise and technical excellence are being employed in the most effective manner.

 

In addition to these initiatives, I will work to strengthen the full range of development programs necessary for achieving long-term sustainable development. This includes investments in economic growth and democratic governance and priority regions such as Sudan and the Middle East.

 

We also know that addressing the unique constraints faced by girls and women in developing countries in realizing their full potential is critical to sustainable development. This work was an area of focus for me during my tenure at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and I intend to make it a priority going forward.

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#12)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

Question:

 

Quality monitoring and evaluation are critical components of effective governance, including development assistance. USAID, once a leader in project design, monitoring, and evaluation, has lost much of that capacity due to changes in priorities and lost technical expertise. S. 1524 calls for an independent Council on Research and Evaluation in the executive branch to evaluate the impact of U.S. foreign assistance programs as well as international and multilateral assistance programs receiving U.S. funding. It also would establish an Office for Learning, Evaluations and Analysis in development within USAID that would link evaluation and research findings to policy and strategic planning options as well as serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of knowledge and lessons learned. How can we build a monitoring-and-evaluation capability that is independent, rigorous and reliable across U.S. foreign assistance activities, that will contribute to restoring the United States as a credible partner, and that will ensure U.S. taxpayer funds are invested well.

 

Answer:

 

Throughout my career, I have applied a results framework as the basis for informed program, policy, and budget decisions. I strongly support efforts to enhance the quality and scope of evaluation and impact assessment and, if confirmed, I will seek to improve the quality and rigor of data and its causal connection to and the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance.

 

As a nominee, I cannot comment on pending legislation. However, I believe USAID’s current evaluation capabilities could be strengthened significantly. Data collection and analysis should inform decision-making and USAID should be able to clearly define program results – and learn from both successes and failures. In managing major grant portfolios at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, I made this a focus of my leadership and would seek to do the same at USAID, if I am confirmed.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John Kerry (#13)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Effectiveness in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan

 

Question:

 

Please discuss the role and relative effectiveness of USAID in some of our top policy priorities, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan. Do you believe USAID is operating as effectively as it could – why or why not? What steps would you take as Administrator to reorient the Agency’s work in these critical areas?

 

Answer:

 

USAID has been an important part of the United States Government’s (USG) work in these countries. For example, USAID’s local government program was a key element of the USG strategy in Iraq as the Agency worked with Iraq partners to improve the situation there. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, USAID field officers are integral contributors to the civilian component of the President’s combined civilian and military strategy, helping to bolster economic growth and improve Afghan capacity as key elements of fostering stability. Specifically, millions of Afghan women and children are now receiving schooling and health care because of these efforts. USAID has trained nearly a million farmers to increase crop yields. In Pakistan, USAID’s reconstruction program contributed to a 45% increase in agricultural income in the earthquake-affected regions. It is my understanding that the Agency has adapted its operations to be most impactful including a continuing effort to increase staffing in the field placements on Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Sudan and Pakistan, where the nature of the U.S. military engagement is significantly different, USAID has increased staff in field offices.

 

 

If I am confirmed, I will seek to increase USAID’s collaboration with partner countries to build their capacity and enhance country ownership of programs, a key principal of aid effectiveness. I will work with Ambassador Holbrooke, senior administration leadership for Sudan, the Departments of State and Defense, our international counterparts and other agencies to ensure that USAID’s expertise and resources are being employed in the most effective manner. I am committed to ensuring that USAID has the necessary support to be as impactful as possible and also to provide it with the agility needed to work in areas of conflict.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#14)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

Question:

 

What do you believe is USAID’s role when it comes to counterinsurgency, contingency operations and post-conflict stabilization operations? Do these mandates run counter to USAID’s broader development and humanitarian objectives? Does the principle of impartiality, especially in the context of humanitarian work, run against the necessity for USAID to support critical foreign policy priorities?

 

Answer:

 

USAID can and does make important contributions across the spectrum of foreign policy priorities – including in humanitarian, stabilization, and long term development situations. The work of the President and Secretary of State to elevate development as a core pillar of our foreign policy speaks to the power and experience USAID can bring to these situations. Development can serve as a valuable tool to counter extremists’ ability to attract the disaffected by offering hope, opportunity, rule of law, and stability. The President has noted the importance of having partners around the world capable of addressing the most pressing challenges of our time.

 

Today, USAID works in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Colombia to build or support effective local institutions that are the foundation for lasting stability and resistance to the influence of insurgents. USAID works closely with the State Department’s Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) to build the capacity of the United States Government to carry out stabilization activities through the Civilian Response Corps (CRC). If confirmed, I look forward to working with this Committee and my colleagues at USAID and the State Department to assess USAID’s contribution to counterinsurgency and stabilization operations.

 

The most fundamental principle of humanitarian assistance is that it is based on need. It is meant for immediate life-saving efforts, alleviating acute suffering, and assisting those who are affected by disaster or calamity. The principle of impartiality is important. It allows us to help meet immediate needs and it is critical for the effectiveness of our programs and the safety of the brave American men and women that take risks to save lives. Whatever the context of our works, I believe it is critical to be clear about goals, strategies, indicators of progress and success, and that program leaders collect data and make data-driven decisions.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#15)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

 

Question:

 

Do you believe there’s an appropriate balance between civilian and military entities, especially in areas, regions and provincial reconstruction teams where there is a significant U.S. military presence? How would you approach this issue and seek a more effective partnership?

 

Answer:

 

More than a question of balance between civilian and military, it is important that the United States is able to bring to bear the appropriate resources to match the task and achieve the objective. To better achieve objectives through development and diplomacy, Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Gates have both called for additional civilian resources, and the civilian agencies have begun to address that need through the increased hiring of civilian staff. I believe that with greater investments, we should be more focused on learning about the outcomes achieved and more transparent in conducting our work.

 

I believe that USAID can provide valuable leadership and technical guidance to its colleagues in the field and help to ensure the complementarity of U.S. efforts regardless of funding stream.

 

USAID and the Departments of State and Defense conduct joint pre-deployment training, familiarizing military and civilian provincial response team (PRT) command staff with each others’ roles. If confirmed, I am committed to working with the Department of Defense and the Department of State to ensure that the capabilities of civilian forces are used in the most efficient and impactful manner.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#16)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Seat for Administrator at NSC

 

 

Question:

 

The U.S. National Security Strategy, as articulated in 2002 and restated in 2006, elevates global development as a third pillar, along with defense and diplomacy, of national security. Secretary Clinton has echoed this in her desire to make development an equal partner with diplomacy and defense in the furtherance of U.S. national security. Yet, little structural change has been made to reflect this elevation in the importance of USAID’s work. Furthermore, the President’s first Policy Directive (PPD-1, dated February 13, 2009) excludes the USAID Administrator from the National Security Council. Since PPD-1 calls for “integrating all aspects of national security policy as it affects the United States – domestic, foreign, military, intelligence, and economic,” should the NSC provide a seat for the USAID Administrator to serve as the voice of development in all national security-related debates?

 

 

Answer:

 

The PSD-7 and QDDR together represent an historic opportunity for USAID and the broader development community to elevate and modernize development as an equal partner, with diplomacy, in the furtherance of United States Government foreign policy and national security interests and goals. Part of both of these processes is an analysis and discussion of how best to ensure that development is represented along with defense and diplomacy in the formulation of United States foreign policy. Should I be confirmed, I look forward to playing an integral role in both of these processes and to being a strong, independent and relevant voice on policy issues.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be

 

USAID Administrator

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#17)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

Question:

 

Over the past five decades, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961—which was originally written and enacted to confront the Cold War threats of the 20th century—has swelled into a morass of rules, regulations, objectives, and directives. Foreign policy experts on both sides of the aisle—including former USAID Administrators from both Democratic and Republican administrations—have said writing a new Foreign Assistance Act is central to clarifying the mission, mandate and organizational structure for U.S. foreign assistance. The Project on National Security Reform, a nonpartisan organization funded and supported by Congress, foundations and corporations that is working to modernize and improve the U.S. national security system, also recommended a “comprehensive revision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 by the end of the 111th Congress.” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman has already begun the process of rewriting the Foreign Assistance Act. What are your thoughts on the need for a new Foreign Assistance Act?

 

Answer:

 

I am committed to realizing the Secretary’s vision of USAID as the premier development agency in the world. The PSD-7 and QDDR processes are examining and analyzing how to do so in the immediate future, and I believe they will inform the question of whether it will be necessary to amend or rewrite the Foreign Assistance Act. The leadership at USAID will play a key role in both of these processes.

 

If confirmed, I look forward to working closely with the White House, State Department, heads of other agencies and Congress on all aspects of foreign assistance reform.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#18)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

Question:

 

Please comment on the co-location issue – where USAID Missions are increasingly forced to co-locate on Embassy compounds. Are you in favor of continuing co-location? What do you think USAID loses by co-locating with the Embassy? What steps would you take to review and assess this issue?

 

Answer:

 

If confirmed, the safety of USAID employees abroad will be my top priority. Each country represents a unique operating environment, and the decision on where to locate USAID Missions should be determined by security conditions and long-term USG goals and objectives.

 

As new embassies are constructed, the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act (SECCA) of 1999 requires that USAID co-locate with other USG agencies in secure State facilities, absent a waiver by the Secretary of State. Congress has appropriated funds to build numerous new embassies over the past several years. State and USAID have worked together since that time to ensure that USAID Missions can be co-located in these new facilities. USAID is co-located with State at more than 40 posts. Co-location helps assure the safety of USAID personnel, and also can enhance interagency coordination and communication.

 

If confirmed, I will review the impact of co-location to date to determine the implications, if any, for future planning.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#19)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

Question:

 

Many also note that co-location has not been complemented by an adequate right-sizing plan from the State Department to accommodate growth and expansion of USAID programs and personnel. Do you believe this is a problem? How should this be addressed?

 

Answer:

 

As USAID doubles the size of its USDH Foreign Service workforce under the Development Leadership Initiative (DLI) and increases Foreign Service National staff, it is essential that USG facilities overseas be designed and built to accommodate the staffing required to meet strategic and assistance objectives. Since country needs vary greatly, there will be a need for flexibility.

 

If confirmed, I look forward to working with Congress and my colleagues at the Department of State to find modern, 21st Century solutions for establishing, expanding or contracting USAID Missions wherever needed to support U.S. foreign policy and national strategic objectives, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, particularly as we go through a period of rapid personnel growth.

 

 

 

Questions for the Record

 

Submitted for the Nomination of

 

Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by

 

Senator John F. Kerry (#20)

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

 

Question:

 

USAID personnel worldwide have complained about burdensome security regulations that make it difficult for them to go out and oversee development projects and programs. Do you believe overly cautious security regulations are affecting USAID’s ability to achieve its objective and fulfill its mission in the field? If so, what steps would you suggest to address this issue?

 

Answer:

 

Increasingly, the personnel of USAID and our implementing partners are being called upon to undertake programs in high threat environments. I share the concerns voiced by the dedicated men and women of USAID regarding their inability to provide the oversight necessary to confirm the status of on-going projects and/or to monitor the success and viability of programs due to restrictions on movement when operating in high threat environments. But the safety and well-being of USAID personnel abroad must be our top priority, and USAID must be respectful of the mechanisms and personnel in place charged with the responsibility to assess and monitor risks.

 

If confirmed, I will work with Congress, the Department of State and individual Chiefs of Missions to ensure USAID is able to monitor programs and projects around the world where the threat of injury or worse, the loss of life, is minimal. I will also ensure that Mission personnel receive the safety and security training appropriate for operating in high threat environments, and that all available security countermeasures to protect our field staff are in place.

 

Additionally, if confirmed to head USAID, in those high-threat environments where access is very challenging or impossible, I will seek the development of innovative, alternative methods and techniques for monitoring programs and projects to minimize the personal risks facing staff on the ground.

 

As for implementing partners, day-to-day security decisions must continue to be made based on what they perceive as prudent in their individual operating environments. USAID will not be prescriptive on partner security as the Agency lacks jurisdiction to control these decisions.

 

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