Happy New Year: MCC Board Quorum and January 5th Meeting; USAID Staffer Tracker Update

EDITOR’S NOTE: The U.S. Senate has confirmed Alan Patricof and Mark Green as public board members of the Millennium Challenge Corp. As such, the board now has the required number to members to decide on which countries will qualify for MCC funding in fiscal 2011, according to Sarah Jane Staats, director of policy outreach at the Center for Global Development.

It’s officially 2011. What’s changed since last year? For starters, the MCC board of directors now has a quorum. And USAID has one more Senate-confirmed position in place.

Just before the Senate left for the holiday recess, it confirmed two MCC public board members—Alan Patricof and Ambassador Mark Green. The MCC board now has the quorum it needs to meet on January 5th to select countries as eligible for FY2011 MCC assistance (you can read our predictions here). The board will also make a decision on whether to approve Malawi’s proposed compact and discuss the MCC’s revamped threshold program and the completion of MCC compacts including the one in the Republic of Georgia, set to end in April (read Casey Dunning’s Report from the Field for a snapshot of how things are going).

Meanwhile, the Senate also confirmed Paige Alexander to be the USAID assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia. As shown in our updated USAID Staffer Tracker, this brings the grand total of USAID Senate-confirmed positions in place to six out of twelve. While I’m thrilled to see one more position confirmed, it’s shocking that only half of the positions are filled two years into the administration. Eric Postel was also nominated back in November to be USAID assistant administrator for economic growth, agriculture and trade. He had a confirmation hearing in early December, but for some reason was not part of the nominations approved at the end of the calendar year. And still no word on nominations for the remaining five assistant administrators, including Africa and global health.

So, three cheers for three end-of-year confirmations. And here’s hoping the remaining two MCC public board nominations and USAID positions don’t require another year of waiting.

Re-published with permission by the Center for Global Development. Visit the original article.

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