Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the latest - and highest-ranking - government official to express frustration about the lack of a U.S. aid administrator. Clinton confirmed what we reported in May: The nomination is being delayed due to a lengthy vetting process.
"It's frustrating beyond words," Clinton said at a town hall meeting of government officials, according to the New York Times. "I pushed very hard, when I knew I was coming here, to get permission from the White House to be able to tell you that help is on the way and someone will be nominated shortly."
But the White House said she couldn't.
Clinton noted that several candidates had declined the job because of onerous reporting requirements, according to the Times, which quotes Paul Farmer, director of Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, as the likely candidate to head the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Earlier this year, we quoted Anne-Marie Slaughter, director of policy planning at the State Department, who said on May 5 that the intense "post-Daschle vetting world" process that is holding back the disclosure of the proposed USAID chief. She was referring to the withdrawal of former Sen. Tom Daschle as a nominee for health and human services secretary due to tax payment issues.
Patience is running thin as the international development community awaits the announcement, which they are hoping will open a new chapter for U.S. foreign assistance.
Farmer is seen as an excellent choice by many aid workers who are hoping for a broad reform. Wendy Sherman, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher, was rumored to be a candidate for the USAID post, but she withdrew after Farmer's name was floated a few weeks ago, according to a Washington insider.