Well, it’s not an appointment to the still-vacant USAID helm, but we did get another indication this week that President Obama wants to dramatically remake global development policy. The White House issued a “presidential study directive” yesterday calling for a top-to-bottom review of development policy. The effort is to be led by Obama’s National Security Advisor Gen. Jim Jones and his National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, two men with extraordinary access to the president. Here’s a blog post about the move by foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen.
The idea of this review is apparently to strengthen and sharpen U.S. foreign assistance, and it will include a probing look at USAID and a half-dozen other agencies. How global health programs, such as PEPFAR and TB control programs, shake out in this effort is far from clear. Okay, so yes, we’re still pining for Paul Farmer.