David Lane: From White House to Rome

ONE’s former president and CEO is just waiting for accreditation following his confirmation as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. food agencies in Rome, Italy.

The U.S. Senate confirmed David Lane’s position May 24. He was serving as assistant to the U.S. president and counselor to the chief of staff at the White House when Barack Obama nominated him to the position.

A number of senators have expressed support for Lane. His passion to fight poverty and preventable diseases is, in the words of Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, “remarkable.” His experiences, both as part and outside of government, will “serve him well” for the role, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said in a statement quoted by ONE.

True enough, Lane has had extensive experience in development. He was director of public policy and external affairs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before joining ONE in 2007. He held several government positions under Bill Clinton’s administration as well. And he remains a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

When he spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May, Lane outlined his goals if confirmed: alleviate hunger and help lift the poor out of poverty through agricultural development. He also identified his five would-be areas of focus:

  • Ensure multilateral agencies provide efficient humanitarian response.

  • Ensure multilateral agencies promote increased investments in initiatives and projects.

  • Ensure reforms to U.N. agencies would result in “modern institutions that reduce redundancies.”

  • Ensure the world understands U.S. leadership and the “great generosity of the American people” on food and nutrition security, and agricultural development.

  • Ensure the work of the U.S. Mission is aligned with U.S. national interests, but at the same time generates positive results.

David Lane will be replacing Ertharin Cousin, who already moved on to head the U.N. World Food Program in April.

Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.