05.12.17

Senator Leahy Statement on the Senate Floor on the Nomination of Mark Green

Mr. President, as ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, I welcome the nomination of Ambassador and former Member of Congress Mark Green to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ambassador Green brings a wealth of experience to this important position. He has been president of the International Republican Institute since 2014. In 2013, he was president and chief executive officer of the Initiative for Global Development, and before that, he served as senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a network of 400 businesses, nongovernmental organizations, policy experts, and others supporting the role of development in U.S. foreign policy. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania from 2007 to 2009. While there, he led a mission of more than 350 Americans and Tanzanians and was ultimately responsible for some of the largest U.S. overseas development programs. Prior to his serving as U.S. Ambassador, Mark Green served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin’s 8th District.

Ambassador Green also served on the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, after being appointed to that position by President Obama. He is currently on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the George W. Bush Institute and cochairs the Consensus for Development Reform, a coalition of policy and business leaders devising new principles for making development policy more effective and growth-oriented. He is a board member of WorldTeach and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Since 1989, as either chairman or ranking member of the subcommittee that provides the funding for USAID’s operations and programs, I know the critical role that it plays in promoting and protecting U.S. interests around the world. Its field missions are its greatest strength, and countless lives have been saved, conflicts avoided, and government institutions strengthened, thanks to the global health, social and economic development, and democracy programs administered by USAID. These programs are not charity. They are essential and complementary to the roles played by our diplomats and soldiers.

President Trump has talked about ‘‘America First.’’ We all want this country to be the best it can be, but slogans are not a substitute for effective policies. Creating jobs at home is not, by itself, a foreign policy. The United States cannot remain a leader in the global economy, where the gravest security problems we face can only be solved by working with other countries, if we reduce our engagement with the world. The vacuum we leave will quickly be filled by our competitors, and it will be difficult if not impossible to recover lost ground.

At a time when OMB is proposing to slash USAID’s budget and downgrade its overseas presence, the nomination of Ambassador Green is a positive signal. If confirmed, I look forward to working with him and subcommittee Chairman Graham, as well as with our House appropriations subcommittee counterparts Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey, to ensure that USAID has the resources it needs to continue and expand its presence and impact around the world.

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