U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is fast filling in his cabinet, including positions of influence in international development. Last week, he announced the nominations of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and Oklahoma Attorney-General Scott Pruitt to the positions of U.S. Secretary of State and administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, respectively.
As with all presidential nominees, Tillerson and Pruitt still require Senate confirmation to secure the positions. But members of the international development community are concerned on the potential impact of their selection on the future of U.S. efforts in combating climate change. Tillerson is known for leading a company that funded climate change deniers, while Pruitt has long opposed efforts made by the EPA, including the latter’s policies on reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
U.N. Secretary-General-designate António Guterres has also started appointing people as part of his leadership team and, as promised, he is placing women in key posts.
Guterres deputy secretary-general will be Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s environment minister who presided as special adviser to Ban Ki-moon on the post-2015 development planning process. Brazilian Ambassador to Germany Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti will be his chief of staff.
Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.
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