Tensions Grow At USAID Over Concerns Of Political Appointees With Histories Of Making Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim Statements

POLITICO: ‘A very anxious time’: USAID staff fear motives of top aides
“The U.S. Agency for International Development is grappling with growing internal turmoil over how it will treat the LGBTQ and Muslim communities, as well as demands for a stronger response to the case of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody. Staffers’ concerns are driven in large part by the recent hiring and promotion at USAID of a handful of political appointees with deeply conservative views and a history of making anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, and even anti-democracy statements. Staff members are urging USAID’s new acting administrator, John Barsa, to take substantive steps to assure them and overseas partners that the agency opposes discrimination on religious, sexual, and other grounds. But Barsa has sent mixed signals, insisting he won’t tolerate discrimination but defending his controversial aides. Given the broader context — the coronavirus pandemic, an ongoing reorganization at USAID and the arrival of a new leader — the tensions are palpable, several current and former USAID staffers told POLITICO, nearly all on condition of anonymity…” (Toosi, 6/11).