John Norris


John Norris is the executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress. He previously served as the executive director of the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress and was chief of political affairs for the U.N. Mission in Nepal back when the country was emerging from a decadelong war. Earlier in his career, John worked at the State Department and USAID.

Latest Articles

Special feature: American public opinion on aid in the Trump era
29 Aug 2017

In this third part of our series on American public opinion of foreign aid, now comes the question on most readers' minds: what does this wealth of polling data tell us about the public’s opinion of foreign assistance during the Trump presidency? And perhaps more importantly, what can and should the development community do about it?

Special feature: Ghana, grandma and the factors affecting American public opinion on foreign aid
22 Aug 2017

In part two of this three part series, Devex contributor John Norris analyzes why Americans might think the aid budget is bigger than it is and offers insights that can make messaging around aid much more effective.

Special feature: A history of American public opinion on foreign aid
15 Aug 2017

In part one of this three part series, Devex contributor John Norris examines 60 years of polling data and the often surprising history of how the American public has viewed aid programs.

President Obama and his development legacy
12 Jul 2016

Despite all the sturm and drang, President Barack Obama successfully maintained the historic increase of U.S. assistance levels made during the Bush administration, a rather remarkable feat considering a global recession, ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and a Republican-led Congress that at times seemed to veer into nihilism.

President Bush and his development legacy
5 Jul 2016

On balance the Bush administration brought great sweeping, almost operatic, successes and failures and a nearly unrivaled boom in resources. It was a track record that naturally lent itself to discussions of legacies both good and bad.

Lessons for the future
23 Jul 2014

So what do we learn from looking back at the evolution of leadership at USAID and the track records of respective administrators? Several things stand out.

Sept. 11 and beyond
23 Jul 2014

Despite the fervor of the post-9/11 ideology at that time, this period saw the launch of notable initiatives and reforms, including PEPFAR and USAID Forward.

The clashes of the 1990s
23 Jul 2014

This decade is perhaps the most tumultuous in USAID history, as Brian Atwood fought for the agency’s survival.

The Cold War and its aftermath
23 Jul 2014

The period between 1969 and 1993 saw USAID having some of its best — and unarguably its worst — administrators in its history, thus far.

Kennedy, Johnson and the early years
23 Jul 2014

USAID’s first three administrators from 1961 to 1969 had to contend with building an agency and shaping the direction it would take in the face of mounting bureaucracy. By the late 60s, the third administrator had to deal with a trifecta of challenges: population growth, famine and the Vietnam War.