With approval for 'almost all' reforms, USAID announces key leadership

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green. Photo by: USAID

WASHINGTON — Nearly 17 months after U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green first unveiled the new organizational structure he hopes will make U.S. foreign aid programs more effective, the agency has secured Congressional approval for “almost all” of its reorganization proposals, according to emails sent to partners and obtained by Devex.

“We are one step closer to making our Agency more nimble, field-focused and functionally-aligned,” Brit Steiner, acting director of the USAID Restructuring Management Unit, wrote in an email on Friday.

The transformation process had previously been led by Jim Richardson, who left the agency in July to lead the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the State Department.

On Friday, in another email, USAID Chief of Staff Bill Steiger informed the agency’s partners of Green’s decision to appoint a number of current senior officials to new positions when the organizational transformation moves forward.

“These individuals will maintain their current roles in the Agency until the Bureaus formally stand up in the Fall and Winter, but they are immediately responsible for building the future entities and all that entails,” Steiger wrote.

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One of the most significant changes under the new organizational plan is the creation of a new position — associate administrator for relief, resilience, and response, who will oversee three different bureaus: a bureau for humanitarian assistance, a bureau for conflict prevention and stabilization, and a bureau for resilience and food security.

Since there is not currently a Senate-confirmed appointee who can serve as the “acting” associate administrator, USAID plans to rely on “alter-ego designations to carry-out the duties and functions of vacant Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed … positions,” Steiger wrote.

At least for now, the associate administrator position will be filled by Tim Ziemer, currently a senior deputy assistant administrator at USAID, a former member of President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, and the former U.S. global Malaria coordinator. Ziemer will also serve as assistant to the administrator in the new Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, which will combine the USAID Office of Food for Peace and USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Other top positions under the new structure include: Rob Jenkins, who will serve as assistant to the administrator in the bureau for conflict prevention and stabilization; and Beth Dunford, who will become assistant to the administrator in the bureau for resilience and food security.

USAID’s Bureau for Asia, which is expected to reintegrate the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, is also currently without a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee. Gloria Steele, currently the acting assistant administrator of that bureau, will continue to lead it as deputy assistant administrator under the new structure.

About the author

  • Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.