ADRA Urges USAID Leader Appointment

ADRA encourages President Obama to appoint USAID Administrator

WASHINGTON, DC.— On April 15, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International joined more than 100 other individuals and nongovernmental organizations in advocating President Barack Obama to nominate a permanent Administrator to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Although ADRA commends the work of Administrator Rajiv Shah and Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt, the organization and its partners unanimously and unequivocally agree that to ensure the continued effectiveness of USAID’s agenda, a strong, committed leader must be appointed and approved.

“USAID needs an experienced and skilled leader in order to fulfill the ‘long-term commitment to rebuilding USAID as the U.S. Government’s lead development agency and as the world’s premier development agency.’”
Formed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy “to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity”, USAID has been a cornerstone and leader of the global development community. As an agency that already lacks a Cabinet-level voice, it is imperative that the organization has strong leadership at the top in order for it to maintain its status as the shining star of humanitarian relief.

For a full copy of the letter sent to President Barack Obama from ADRA and its partners, read the letter below or click here. To learn more about USAID please visit their website at:

About ADRA
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit

April 15, 2015
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
ATTN: Ms. Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President

Dear Mr. President:
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge you to act expeditiously to nominate a permanent Administrator to the United States Agency for International Development. Having a Senate-confirmed appointee at the helm of USAID is essential to advancing U.S. development goals and the aid effectiveness agenda.

We have been pleased to see the administration prioritize development alongside defense and diplomacy as a key pillar of U.S. foreign policy. Under the leadership of Administrator Rajiv Shah and Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt, USAID has proven the important role that foreign assistance plays in support of our policy goals. Without a confirmed political appointment, this continued elevation and inclusion of the development voice is at risk.

In recent years, USAID has made dramatic steps in strengthening its capacity to deliver results for the American people and for people in developing countries around the world. The USAID Forward agenda, for example, is focused on ensuring that U.S. development assistance supports the outcomes of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, including ownership of development priorities by developing countries, a focus on results and sustainable impact, creating new partnerships for development including all local actors, and ensuring co-operation is transparent and accountable to all citizens.

When the Administrator position was vacant in 2009 for nearly a full year, USAID and its programs suffered. As an agency that already lacks a Cabinet-level voice, having strong leadership at the top is imperative. USAID needs an experienced and skilled leader in order to fulfill the “long-term commitment to rebuilding USAID as the U.S. Government’s lead development agency and as the world’s premier development agency” as articulated in the 2010 policy directive for global development.

We ask that you nominate a new Administrator as soon as possible to sustain strong U.S. leadership on development programs that are vital to our national interests and an expression of our core values, as well as crucial to the lives and well-being of women and men around the globe.


William Anderson, MFAN Principal
Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO, International Medical Corps
Brian Atwood, Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; Former Administrator, USAID
David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
Rodney Bent
Azzedine Downes, President and CEO, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International
Henrietta H. Fore, Former Administrator, USAID
Dr. Helene Gayle, President, CARE
Dr. Edwin H. Gragert, Executive Director, Global Campaign for Education-US
George Ingram, Senior Fellow, Brookings; MFAN Co-Chair
Jim Kunder, Former Deputy Administrator, USAID
Ben Leo, Senior Fellow and Director of Rethinking US Development Policy,
Center for Global Development
Kristin M. Lord, President and CEO, IREX
Senator Richard G. Lugar (Ret.), MFAN Honorary Co-Chair
Barbara McMurray, President and CEO, International Housing Coalition
Peter McPherson, Former Administrator, USAID
Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children; MFAN Co-Chair
Amb. (Ret.) Thomas J. Miller, President & CEO, IESC
Rob Mosbacher, Former President and CEO, OPIC
Andrew S. Natsios, Former Administrator, USAID
John Norris, Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative, Center for American Progress
Larry Nowels, Independent Consultant
Raymond C. Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America
Diana Ohlbaum, President, DLO Global LLC
Carol Peasley, MFAN Principal
The Honorable John Porter, Former Member of U.S. House of Representatives
William S. Reese, President and CEO, International Youth Foundation
Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA
Daniel Runde

Richard L. Santos, President and CEO, IMA World Health
Liz Schrayer

Alexander Shakow, Co-Chair, USAID Alumni Association
Serra Sippel, President, Center for Health and Gender Equity
Alison N. Smith, President and CEO, InsideNGO
Dr. Christine Sow, Executive Director and CEO, Global Health Council
Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, President and CEO, Rabin Martin
Connie Veillette, Senior Fellow, The Lugar Center; MFAN Co-Chair
Jennifer Windsor, CEO, Women for Women International


1,000 Days
Action Against Hunger
ADRA International
Alliance to End Hunger
American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish World Service
American Refugee Committee
American Values Network
Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development
Bread for the World
Buddhist Global Relief
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
ChildFund International
Church World Service
Concern Worldwide
Congressional Hunger Center
Counterpart International
Fanm Ayisyen Nam Miyami, Inc.
Food Tank
Foods Resource Bank
Freedom House
General Board of Church and Socety of the United Methodist Church
Global Campaign for Education-US
Global Communities
Global Fund for Women
Global Health Council
Global Poverty Project
Habitat for Humanity
Heifer International
Helen Keller International
IMA World Health
Institute for Sustainable Communities
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
International Fund for Animal Welfare
International Housing Coalition
International Medical Corps
International Youth Foundation
IntraHealth International
Islamic Relief USA
Living Earth Institute
Mali Nyeta, Inc.
Mercy Corps
Milennium Water Alliance
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network
Oxfam America
Plan International USA
Rabin Martin
Refugees International
Save the Children
The Borgen Project
USAID Alumni Association
Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)
WASH Advocates
Water for South Sudan
WaterAid America
Women for Afghan Women (DC Office)
Women for Women International
Women Thrive Worldwide
World Concern

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