When All Else Fails, Crowdsource the Next USAID Administrator
We are now eight months into the Obama administration and the U.S. Agency for International Development still doesn’t have an administrator. The vetting process is apparently so out of control that Paul Farmer, a longtime luminary in the development community and the administration’s leading candidate for the job, dropped out. New York Times columnist Nick Kristof lamented, “If a saint like Farmer can’t get through, who can?”
Well, now, you make the call! A coalition of development workers and other foreign-policy practitioners known as the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network is turning to the fans to decide, as if this were a rap battle or dance-off. In a poll up on the MFAN Website, anyone can vote for a slate of potential administrators, stretching from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to ex-Nebraska Sen. (and leading Obamacon) Chuck Hagel. The current runaway favorite? Dark-horse Gayle Smith, the National Security Council’s senior director for relief, stabilization and development.
Of course, this is a crowdsourced poll, not a presidential nomination or a Senate confirmation hearing. But for USAID, all else has already failed, so why not?