Mark Green Confirmed as New USAID Administrator
Before leaving town for its annual August recess, the Senate took care of an important piece of international development business: it unanimously confirmed Ambassador Mark Green as the new Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, USAID is America’s primary global development and humanitarian agency. The United States is the world’s largest single donor to international aid—so USAID’s mission is vast. Funded by less than one percent of the federal budget, the agency works with organizations and communities around the world to turn foreign assistance funding into programs with big goals: to foster democracy, build resiliency to climate change, empower women and girls, fight extreme poverty, and more.
Charged with everything from overseeing the Food for Peace program to helping the U.S. lead on achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, from stepping up to lead the global Ebola response to providing aid to communities facing the threat of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen—it’s clear USAID needs a leader with knowledge and experience.
Ambassador Green has just that—his extensive background is in both government service and development. Prior to being nominated to lead USAID, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania under President George W. Bush. He is also a former member of Congress who represented Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district in the House of Representatives for four terms. Most recently, Ambassador Green was President of the International Republican Institute (IRI), an NGO that promotes democracy around the globe. In addition, he has served as President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development, senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and managing director for Malaria No More.
For the U.S. to maintain its leadership role in fighting global poverty—and especially in light of recent proposed cuts to USAID’s budget by the administration and a possible reorganization of the agency—it is more important than ever that USAID has a strong leader at the helm to promote U.S. development and humanitarian priorities around the globe.
Action Against Hunger partners closely with USAID in many of our projects across a range of sectors, including food security, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene. For example, USAID’s Food For Peace funded our emergency nutrition program in northeast Nigeria, launched in 2015—helping communities in Borno State, an area devastated by Boko Haram. Through that work, we provided families displaced by conflict, poverty, and hunger with cash vouchers to buy nutritious and affordable food from local markets. We also worked to prevent malnutrition by providing a daily nutritious meal and education to displaced mothers through our mother-to-mother support groups called “Porridge Moms.” In these groups, women come together to find a safe space, vital peer support, and to learn how to cook nutritious meals, eat, and discuss issues related to healthy care and feeding practices for their young children.
As Action Against Hunger ramps our emergency programs to meet growing humanitarian needs around the world, we are glad to have a strong supporter in USAID. We are pleased that the Trump administration nominated such a highly qualified and experienced candidate for USAID’s important leadership position, and that the Senate confirmed him with such swift and bipartisan support. We welcome Ambassador Green to USAID and look forward to continuing to work closely with the agency under his tenure.