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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > January
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 19, 2006

New Direction for U.S. Foreign Assistance

Foreign assistance is an essential component of our transformational diplomacy. In today’s world, America’s security is linked to the capacity of foreign states to govern justly and effectively. Our foreign assistance must help people get results. The resources we commit must empower developing countries to strengthen security, to consolidate democracy, to increase trade and investment, and to improve the lives of their people. America’s foreign assistance must promote responsible sovereignty, not permanent dependency…Ladies and Gentlemen: We were attacked on 9/11 by terrorists who had plotted and trained in a failed state: Afghanistan. Since then, we have cycled tens of thousands of troops through the country, spent billions of dollars, and sacrificed precious lives to eliminate the threat -- and to liberate the brutally repressed people of Afghanistan. In the final analysis, we must now use our foreign assistance to help prevent future Afghanistans -- and to make America and the world safer.

-- Secretary Rice, January 19, 2006

Secretary Rice today announced a major change in the way the US government directs foreign assistance. In a time of transformational diplomacy—as America works with our partners to build and sustain democratic well-governed states—changes are necessary to meet new challenges. This reorganization will:

  • Ensure that foreign assistance is used as effectively as possible to meet our broad foreign policy objectives
  • More fully align the foreign assistance activities carried out by the Department of State and USAID
  • Demonstrate that we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

New Position: Director of Foreign Assistance

The Secretary announced her intention to create the new position of Director of Foreign Assistance. The DFA will:

  1. Serve concurrently as USAID Administrator while carrying out the duties of Director of Foreign Assistance.
  2. As USAID Administrator, be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve at a level equivalent to Deputy Secretary.
  3. Have authority over all Department of State and USAID foreign assistance funding and programs, with continued participation in program planning, implementation, and oversight from the various bureaus and offices within State and USAID, as part of the integrated interagency planning, coordination and implementation mechanisms.
  4. Develop a coordinated USG foreign assistance strategy, including developing five-year country specific assistance strategies and annual country-specific assistance operational plans.
  5. Create and direct consolidated policy, planning, budget and implementation mechanisms and staff functions required to provide umbrella leadership to foreign assistance.
  6. Provide guidance to foreign assistance delivered through other agencies and entities of the USG, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator.
  7. Direct the required transformation of the USG approach to foreign assistance in order to achieve the President’s Transformational Development Goals.

This change will be implemented consistent with current law. No new legislation will be required at this time. USAID’s status as an independent organization with an administrator reporting directly to the Secretary of State remains unchanged.


Released on January 19, 2006

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