The vacancies at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s management team are getting filled up.
U.S. President Barack Obama has announced nominees for two key USAID posts: Donald Steinberg as deputy administrator and Nancy Lindborg as assistant administrator for democracy, conflict and humanitarian assistance.
Steinberg is currently the deputy president for policy at the International Crisis Group. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to Angola, and director of the State Department and USAID’s Joint Policy Council.
Lindborg, meanwhile, is the incumbent president of global relief and development non-governmental organization Mercy Corps. She is also co-president of the board of directors at the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.
International development leaders welcomed Lindborg’s nomination, saying Lindborg’s experience in disaster and humanitarian relief will enable her to take on a big role in responding to crisis situations, according to Josh Rogin of “The Cable.”
The nomination, which was sent Aug. 5 to the U.S. Senate, is also boosting confidence that USAID is “willing and able to play a large role in setting development policy,” Rogin adds.
“If people really want USAID to assert itself on aid, they need people like this,” one development community leader told Rogin. “In Haiti, everything was run or shadow-run by State. Getting someone like Lindborg who’s willing to basically take a demotion to do this job is a good sign.”
The post of director of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance remains vacant.
“That might be a tough one to fill before State releases its Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR),” Rogin says. “The report, which is expected to be released in September, will reveal whether OFDA will reclaim its previous influence before the Bush administration gutted it or continue to be subservient to the State Department’s Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance, known as the F Bureau.”