Nov 11, 2009
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

Did State just eat USAID?

President Obama has named Rajiv Shah, an Undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture, to head the US Agency for International Development (USAID).  Although there has not been a lot of news about the appointment, articles in Politico and the Washington Examiner suggest that Shah does not have an independent power base, but rather owes the appointment to heavy lobbying from the State Department.  In addition, the State Department lists the USAID Administrator as a senior State Department official.  While the administration has not said anything public, I think it is clear that State just ate USAID.  One upside is that since the State Department has always been far more powerful than USAID, foreign aid budgets are likely to rise.


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Founded in 2004, Democracy and Society is a biannual print journal published by the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. The D&S Blog provides web-only content, including special reports and investigative series, on issues relating to democracy and development.

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