NCBA CLUSA is pleased to congratulate Gayle E. Smith on her confirmation November 30 as head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the federal agency responsible for overseeing aid and development projects around the world and a major funding partner of NCBA CLUSA.
Yesterday’s Senate vote was 79 to 7. Smith succeeds Dr. Rajiv Shah, who stepped down in February after five years on the job.
“We thank Dr. Shah for his leadership and congratulate Ms. Smith on her confirmation,” said Amy Coughenour, COO for International Development at NCBA CLUSA. “We look forward to this renewed dedication by the U.S. government to continue to provide the much needed aid and development that betters the lives of millions around the world.”
Earlier this year, NCBA CLUSA joined 100 other organizations and individuals in signing a letter delivered to the White House urging the Obama Administration to “act expeditiously” to nominate a permanent USAID administrator. Smith’s nomination came in late April, but her Senate confirmation was delayed until yesterday’s vote.
A former national security aide to President Obama responsible for global development, democracy and humanitarian aid, Smith’s career spans the Clinton Administration, USAID, the NGO community and the White House. In recent years, she was instrumental in driving such key initiatives as Power Africa, Feed the Future and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the U.S. Department of State said in a press statement.
“She will bring to her new position a deeply-felt commitment to USAID’s mission of helping people to help themselves,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in the November 30 statement.
According to her White House biography, Smith was based in several African countries for more than 20 years as a journalist for the BBC, The Associated Press, Reuters and more covering the social, economic and political challenges facing the continent. She is also co-founder of the Enough Project, a nonprofit organization devoted to ending genocide.
NCBA CLUSA is currently implementing 10 projects funded by USAID, accounting for more than two-thirds of the organization’s development activities.
(December 1, 2015)