Leader Profile: Rodney Bent, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation

By FWU Newsletter 08 May 2008

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is one of the major aid agencies of the United States. The agency employs a unique approach in providing financial assistance – it signs compacts with governments of developing countries that meet its funding eligibility criteria, and these agreements specify the projects that will receive funding over a certain period of time. Ambassador John J. Danilovich heads the MCC. But the management of day-to-day operations is in the hands of Mr. Rodney Bent, the agency’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer. He has held this position since April 2006. As the second in command, Mr. Bent represents the MCC in various high-level gatherings. At a forum marking the World Water Day early last month, he spoke about how the organization boosts efforts to achieve the international goal of halving the number of people lacking access to water and sanitation by 2015. “MCC?s total investment in water (totaling US$ 937 million) is more than many other donors are directing toward water projects… . MCC?s investment in water and sanitation goes a long way in fulfilling the commitment the United States made at the 2003 G8 summit in Evian, France, where the world?s most advanced economies adopted an action plan to provide safe drinking water and sanitation for the world?s poorest. The plan highlights good governance, market-based approaches, capacity-building, and the development and mobilization of local resources and capital markets to finance water infrastructure in developing countries – strategies that are all hallmarks of the MCC model.” “By the very act of investing in water and sanitation, our partner countries are creating conditions to expand education, improve health, and promote economic development. MCC partner countries recognize the significance of water infrastructure to the sustainability of their initiatives to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. While water needs worldwide are enormous and vary by country, MCC?s approach to tackling this development challenge is country-driven. And, we are proud to support our partner countries in their efforts to meet these challenges head on,” the MCC deputy CEO further remarked. Before assuming his current role, Mr. Bent was the Vice President for Policy and International Relations at the MCC. During his tenure as a professional staff member of the House Appropriations Committee, he endorsed funding levels and policies for the US Agency for International Development, the US Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the US Trade and Development Agency. He was also named as Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. Mr. Bent has an MBA from Cornell University, an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and an AB in History from Cornell University.

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