What is Obama's development legacy?

Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America, assesses the development legacy of the Obama administration.

U.S. President Barack Obama has launched several development initiatives during his term, among them, the Global Health Initiative, Feed the Future, the Global Climate Change Initiative and Power Africa. But for the former policy planning director for the U.S. Department of State, Obama’s development legacy is much more than the sum of those initiatives.

“There have been specific initiatives,” Anne-Marie Slaughter said, “but I think [the] most important is the elevation of development.”

Slaughter, who served under Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2011, recalled that the single most important thing she felt she did during that time was to implement what Obama and Clinton jointly declared: As a foreign policy tool, development should be equal with diplomacy.

Now president and CEO of the New America, Slaughter sat down for a video interview with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar on the sidelines of the Bold Thinkers Series, where she also praised outgoing U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah’s accomplishments.

Under Shah, Slaughter said, USAID “has really encouraged innovation, has reached out to a range of partners, has really shaken up the way we do development.”

Watch the clip above to know more about what she has to say about how development professionals could look beyond geopolitics to see the successes in public-private partnerships, poverty eradication and the like.

Devex, in partnership with Abt Associates, is examining lessons learned through partnership development, what scale means in the post-2015 agenda and how to create an enabling environment for partnerships in this special three-week series “Collaboration Post-2015: Where Can Partnerships Take Development?

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About the author

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    Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is currently taking his master’s degree in communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman.