What’s going to happen to USAID? Jack Lew.

At the July 13 town hall meeting at USAID, Secretary Clinton was asked about the next USAID Administrator reporting to Jack Lew, the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. Below is Secretary Clinton’s response:

The administrator of AID will certainly have a direct line to me, but on budget issues and coordination that will enable us to maximize our impact, I will expect the administrator to work with Deputy Secretary Lew. We believe that it will enhance the results that AID will see in terms of budget support.

And I take very seriously what you say about the changing winds of politics in Washington, which is why we’re trying to establish institutional structures like the QDDR so that it stands on its own, it provides a pathway for USAID no matter who is in charge in the White House or the State Department, and why we also want to build up USAID again and not see what’s been happening, which is a transfer of expertise and experience outside the agency, which we think has undermined the strength and the authoritative position of USAID within our own government as well as outside it.

So we’re trying to take steps that we believe will actually strengthen AID’s position no matter who’s in charge. But I would just end by saying you know when a new president is elected, policies change. So we’ve got to try to strengthen AID to withstand what might be a political atmosphere that was not as positive about development, and I think the steps we’re taking will enable us to do that.

Hillary Clinton
June 13, 2009 Town Hall at USAID