Blog Discusses President Obama’s Global Development Council

Writing in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog,” Sarah Jane Staats, director of CGD’s Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Program, provides a timeline of operations for President Obama’s Global Development Council. Staats says “[i]t was created in Obama’s 2010 U.S. global development policy directive to offer high-level, independent advice to the president on development policy, including through active engagement across and outside the U.S. government,” but she notes the council has yet to meet. She writes that “the delay in getting the council up and running exposes three risks in execution” — staff support inside the administration, missed opportunities to utilize the advisory group, and a lack of visibility across and outside the government — and provides “three ideas that might help” — “[a]n executive secretariat, not just an executive director”; the use of a “plus one” model “in which an agency principal appoints a plus one to support him or her during White House and interagency meetings and do a lot of the work”; and filling the four remaining open spots “with members who would bring additional expertise and political affiliation” (7/1).

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