The Cable

At long last, a new USAID chief?

The U.S. Agency for International Development could be getting its new leader very soon. Hill sources tell The Cable that a Senate vote on confirming Rajiv Shah for the USAID job could come as early as Friday. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee moved the ball forward by reporting the Shah nomination out favorably Tuesday by ...

The U.S. Agency for International Development could be getting its new leader very soon. Hill sources tell The Cable that a Senate vote on confirming Rajiv Shah for the USAID job could come as early as Friday.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee moved the ball forward by reporting the Shah nomination out favorably Tuesday by a unanimous voice vote. The urgency in getting Shah in place is felt both on Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom.

Shah is supposed to play a role on both the QDDR, the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, and the NSC’s Presidential Study Directive on Global Development, or PSD-7 for short. But although the PSD process has been slowed to allow his involvement and the QDDR is just slow, the issues they deal with are moving quickly.

USAID is involved in a surge of civilian personnel to Afghanistan, which is now slated to increase in size as part of the administration’s new strategy. And the White House’s Office of Management and Budget has now given State its top-line budget limit for fiscal 2011, according to sources, meaning that final crafting of the budget request is going on now.

As for the QDDR, although final results aren’t expected until later next year, progress is being made. State Department officials involved in the QDDR working groups say they have now submitted their interim recommendations up the food chain and have been briefing senior State Department management. The interim results could come out early next year, around the same time the PSD is expected.

All of these moving forces point to a need to get Shah in place quickly. That’s if he hopes to really be a voice fighting to "rebuild all types of capacity at USAID, including policy expertise," as he told senators during his confirmation hearing.

The committee also reported out the following nominations in today’s business meeting:

  • Mary Burce Warlick to be ambassador to the Republic of Serbia
  • James B. Warlick Jr. to be ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis to be ambassador to the Republic of Hungary
  • Leslie V. Rowe to be ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique
  • Alberto M. Fernandez to be ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • Mary Jo Wills to be ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as ambassador to the Republic of Seychelles
  • Jide J. Zeitlin to be representative of the United States to the United Nations for U.N. management and reform, with the rank of ambassador and alternate representative of the United States to the sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations during his tenure
  • Anne Slaughter Andrew to be ambassador to the Republic of Costa Rica
  •  David Daniel Nelson to be ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay
  •  Betty E. King to be representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, with the rank of ambassador
  •  Laura E. Kennedy for the rank of ambassador during her tenure of service as U.S. representative to the Conference on Disarmament
  • Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe for the rank of ambassador during her tenure of service as the United States representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council
 Twitter: @joshrogin

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