The Cable

Two USAID senior officials confirmed

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed two top officials to the U.S. Agency for International Development, making them the first senior USAID leadership positions to be filled other than Administrator Rajiv Shah. The officials who were confirmed are Mark Feierstein as assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Nisha Desai Biswal as assistant administrator ...

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed two top officials to the U.S. Agency for International Development, making them the first senior USAID leadership positions to be filled other than Administrator Rajiv Shah.

The officials who were confirmed are Mark Feierstein as assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Nisha Desai Biswal as assistant administrator for Asia. They were two of the 28 presidential nominations officially confirmed by the Senate Thursday.  

Of the top 12 leadership slots at USAID, only two more officials have even been nominated and nine more slots are currently vacant or being staffed by "acting" officials: Nancy Lindborg, for assistant administrator of USAID’s Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs Bureau and Donald K. Steinberg as deputy administrator of USAID. One notable vacancy at USAID is the slot for director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Feierstein had previously worked as a principal at the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and before that served as director of USAID’s global elections office. He previously worked in the State Department as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States and before that was director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Democratic Institute.

Biswal most recently worked as the majority clerk for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations. Before that, she was director of policy and advocacy at InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international humanitarian and development non-governmental organizations. She has also worked on the professional staff of the House International Relations Committee and has held numerous past positions at USAID, including in the management bureau, the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and the Office of Transition Initiatives.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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