4 Questions U.S. Senators Should Ask Secretary Of State Nominee Rex Tillerson During Confirmation Hearings

Devex: Opinion: 4 questions on foreign aid for Rex Tillerson
Diana Ohlbaum, independent consultant, executive committee member of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and principal of Turner4D

“The basic story lines of Rex Tillerson’s upcoming confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday are easy to predict. Russia will be at the top of the agenda. … But Tillerson — and the rest of the world — will learn as much from the questions senators overlook as from the ones they pose. … At a minimum, senators and the American public have a right to expect answers to the following four questions on foreign aid and development: Do you agree that development should be a mainstay of U.S. foreign policy? … As secretary, what would be your development priorities? … Do you believe that current levels of foreign aid are adequate for the task at hand? … What further aid reforms, if any, do you believe are needed? … Due diligence requires that senators probe his potential conflicts of interest, as well as his views on the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, the future of nuclear arms control, the challenges posed by global climate change, and the capacity of the foreign service, among other issues. Unfortunately, senators may be called to choose between confirming someone whose views are unknown and malleable, and confirming someone whose views are known and unpalatable” (1/10).