Panel Discusses Future Of USAID, QDDR

While the “long wait for an appointment of” a USAID administrator continues, the agency’s future “was the main topic of interest” at a U.S. Global Leadership Coalition conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Foreign Policy’s blog, “The Cable,” reports. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew, Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter and acting USAID Administrator Alonzo Fulgham participated in a panel at the conference (Rogin, 10/14).

About 400 people “jammed” in to hear the panel “explain the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review [QDDR] process,” Politico’s Laura Rozen reports. According to Politico, “The team also found themselves dealing with another rumor – that the QDDR process is cover for State to absorb USAID” (10/14).

According to “The Cable,” Lew “seemed clear that USAID was on its way to becoming a more, not less, integrated part of the State Department.” He said, “We’re seeing a lot of the development versus diplomacy line starting to disappear … and I think that’s ultimately going to be the path to success.” “The Cable” reports that Slaughter “struck a slightly different tone.” She said, “The vision that [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] has coming out of the QDDR is of a much stronger, much better-resourced USAID … and better integrated in the counsels of decision in every country.” She added, “What we want to make sure is that we’ve got equal strength on the diplomacy side and the development side.”

Until the QDDR is complete, Lew said the administration cannot comment about foreign aid reform bills in the House and Senate. On Tuesday, “Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Ben Cardin, D-MD introduced [another] resolution … aimed at strengthening the agency and its future leader” (10/14).

also reports on Wednesday’s panel where the “consensus was there can’t be serious debate … without a director.” The audio includes excerpts from the discussion and interviews with people in the development community (10/15).

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