Press Release

October 13, 2009

Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a resolution today to empower and strengthen the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


“Reducing global poverty strengthens our national security while fulfilling a moral obligation to assist those in need. To accomplish this goal, we must restore our commitment to development as a pillar of our foreign policy, alongside diplomacy and defense,” said
Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations International Development and Foreign Assistance Subcommittee.  “We should have a strong USAID Administrator in place quickly to oversee the vital functions of our primary development agency so that it can serve as a constructive partner with other U.S. agencies.”


“The United States faces an ever-growing array of foreign policy challenges, and in nearly every instance, international development should be part of the solution,” said
Dodd, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “An empowered USAID is critical for a strong and effective American foreign and national security policy, and providing USAID with the resources, support, and staff it needs will go a long way towards meeting these important goals.”


“Foreign development assistance is as critical to America’s standing in the world as diplomacy and defense. It not only provides aid to those most in need but is also a symbol of American values,” said
Durbin, the author of the
Increasing America’s Global Development Capacity Act (S.355). “As our development assistance grows, so does the need for an influential and transformative Administrator at USAID. Military and civilian leaders both agree: a strong development strategy is critical for our long term success.”


The resolution calls for the appointment of a “powerful advocate and effective leader” to be USAID administrator, who will serve as the chief advocate for United States development strategy, and for the Senate to provide adequate resources to an empowered USAID to hire additional Foreign Service officers and support staff.