Press Release

November 10, 2009

Washington, DC –

U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD),
a member of the Senate Foreign Relations International Development and Foreign Assistance Subcommittee, released the following statement after President Obama’s announcement he was nominating Dr. Rajiv Shah to be the next Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I look forward to meeting Dr. Shah, and to a prompt confirmation hearing, during which we can discuss his vision of how USAID can regain its position as the primary development agency of the U.S. government. A strong USAID is critical to reducing global poverty, strengthening our national security and fulfilling a moral obligation to assist those in need. With this nomination, we must now restore our commitment to development as a pillar of our foreign policy, alongside diplomacy and defense.
“Development should be aprincipal element of our global engagementand international policies. A strong USAID administrator would ensure our foreign assistance efforts should be part of a coherentvision for U.S. engagement with developing countries.”
Senator Cardin, along with Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), SFRC Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN), and 15 other cosponsors led the Senate in passing by unanimous consent yesterday a resolution to empower and strengthen USAID. The resolution called for the swift appointment of a “powerful advocate and effective leader” to be USAID administrator, who will serve as the chief advocate for United States development policy and strategy, and for the Senate to provide adequate resources to an empowered USAID to hire additional Foreign Service officers and support staff.