Washington Post Examines Role Of USAID’s Richard Greene

As part of its ongoing “Federal Player of the Week” series with the Partnership for Public Service, the Washington Post examines the role of Richard Greene, the head of USAID’s Office of Health, Infectious Diseases, and Nutrition in the Bureau of Global Health.

As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ivory Coast in the late 1970s, Greene saw first-hand children suffering from preventable diseases, such as polio and measles, according to the article. Years after taking his first job with USAID in 1984, where he spent 15 years overseas, Greene now “manages a large office in Washington that supports maternal and child health issues, such as malaria, tuberculosis and influenza,” the newspaper writes. Greene said the realization that low-cost tools could save lives has motivated his career in international public health. 

“There is a lot of skepticism over whether the United States should send money overseas to developing countries when there are so many needs here at home,” Greene said. “But these are initiatives where USAID has made foreign assistance available to improve health and save lives, and it is having great success.”

One such program that Greene helps to manage is the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), a five-year, $1.2 billion effort to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 countries. “In 2008, the program procured approximately 6.5 million insecticide-treated nets and more than 15 million anti-malaria treatments. It also protected nearly 25 million people through indoor residual spraying of insecticides,” according to the article. “A growing number of countries in Africa are showing reductions in under age 5 mortality rates associated with increased coverage of malaria interventions,” Greene said (11/2).

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