ADRA encourages President Obama to appoint USAID Administrator

WASHINGTON, DC.— On April 15, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International joined more than 100 other individuals and nongovernmental organizations in advocating President Barack Obama to nominate a permanent Administrator to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Although ADRA commends the work of Administrator Rajiv Shah and Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt, the organization and its partners unanimously and unequivocally agree that to ensure the continued effectiveness of USAID’s agenda, a strong, committed leader must be appointed and approved.

“USAID needs an experienced and skilled leader in order to fulfill the ‘long-term commitment to rebuilding USAID as the U.S. Government’s lead development agency and as the world’s premier development agency.’”

Formed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy “to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity”, USAID has been a cornerstone and leader of the global development community. As an agency that already lacks a Cabinet-level voice, it is imperative that the organization has strong leadership at the top in order for it to maintain its status as the shining star of humanitarian relief.

For a full copy of the letter sent to President Barack Obama from ADRA and its partners, read the letter below or click here. To learn more about USAID please visit their website at:

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit

April 15, 2015

The President

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

ATTN: Ms. Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President

Dear Mr. President:

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge you to act expeditiously to nominate a permanent Administrator to the United States Agency for International Development. Having a Senate-confirmed appointee at the helm of USAID is essential to advancing U.S. development goals and the aid effectiveness agenda.

We have been pleased to see the administration prioritize development alongside defense and diplomacy as a key pillar of U.S. foreign policy. Under the leadership of Administrator Rajiv Shah and Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt, USAID has proven the important role that foreign assistance plays in support of our policy goals. Without a confirmed political appointment, this continued elevation and inclusion of the development voice is at risk.

In recent years, USAID has made dramatic steps in strengthening its capacity to deliver results for the American people and for people in developing countries around the world. The USAID Forward agenda, for example, is focused on ensuring that U.S. development assistance supports the outcomes of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, including ownership of development priorities by developing countries, a focus on results and sustainable impact, creating new partnerships for development including all local actors, and ensuring co-operation is transparent and accountable to all citizens.

When the Administrator position was vacant in 2009 for nearly a full year, USAID and its programs suffered. As an agency that already lacks a Cabinet-level voice, having strong leadership at the top is imperative. USAID needs an experienced and skilled leader in order to fulfill the “long-term commitment to rebuilding USAID as the U.S. Government’s lead development agency and as the world’s premier development agency” as articulated in the 2010 policy directive for global development.

We ask that you nominate a new Administrator as soon as possible to sustain strong U.S. leadership on development programs that are vital to our national interests and an expression of our core values, as well as crucial to the lives and well-being of women and men around the globe.


William Anderson, MFAN Principal

Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO, International Medical Corps

Brian Atwood, Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; Former Administrator, USAID

David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World

Rodney Bent

Azzedine Downes, President and CEO, International Fund for Animal Welfare

Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International

Henrietta H. Fore, Former Administrator, USAID

Dr. Helene Gayle, President, CARE

Dr. Edwin H. Gragert, Executive Director, Global Campaign for Education-US

George Ingram, Senior Fellow, Brookings; MFAN Co-Chair

Jim Kunder, Former Deputy Administrator, USAID

Ben Leo, Senior Fellow and Director of Rethinking US Development Policy,
Center for Global Development

Kristin M. Lord, President and CEO, IREX

Senator Richard G. Lugar (Ret.), MFAN Honorary Co-Chair

Barbara McMurray, President and CEO, International Housing Coalition

Peter McPherson, Former Administrator, USAID

Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children; MFAN Co-Chair

Amb. (Ret.) Thomas J. Miller, President & CEO, IESC

Rob Mosbacher, Former President and CEO, OPIC

Andrew S. Natsios, Former Administrator, USAID

John Norris, Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative, Center for American Progress

Larry Nowels, Independent Consultant

Raymond C. Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America

Diana Ohlbaum, President, DLO Global LLC

Carol Peasley, MFAN Principal

The Honorable John Porter, Former Member of U.S. House of Representatives

William S. Reese, President and CEO, International Youth Foundation

Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA

Daniel Runde

Richard L. Santos
, President and CEO, IMA World Health

Liz Schrayer

Alexander Shakow
, Co-Chair, USAID Alumni Association

Serra Sippel, President, Center for Health and Gender Equity

Alison N. Smith, President and CEO, InsideNGO

Dr. Christine Sow, Executive Director and CEO, Global Health Council

Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, President and CEO, Rabin Martin

Connie Veillette, Senior Fellow, The Lugar Center; MFAN Co-Chair

Jennifer Windsor, CEO, Women for Women International


1,000 Days


Action Against Hunger



ADRA International

Alliance to End Hunger

American Friends Service Committee

American Jewish World Service

American Refugee Committee

American Values Network

Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development

Bread for the World

Buddhist Global Relief


Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

ChildFund International

Church World Service

Concern Worldwide

Congressional Hunger Center

Counterpart International

Fanm Ayisyen Nam Miyami, Inc.

Food Tank
Foods Resource Bank

Freedom House

General Board of Church and Socety of the United Methodist Church

Global Campaign for Education-US

Global Communities

Global Fund for Women

Global Health Council

Global Poverty Project

Habitat for Humanity

Heifer International

Helen Keller International




IMA World Health


Institute for Sustainable Communities


International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Housing Coalition

International Medical Corps

International Youth Foundation


IntraHealth International


Islamic Relief USA

Living Earth Institute

Mali Nyeta, Inc.

Mercy Corps

Milennium Water Alliance

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network



Oxfam America




Plan International USA

Rabin Martin

Refugees International


Save the Children

The Borgen Project

USAID Alumni Association

Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)

WASH Advocates

Water for South Sudan

WaterAid America

Women for Afghan Women (DC Office)

Women for Women International

Women Thrive Worldwide

World Concern