Obama names new USAID chief

By Philip Brasher

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WASHINGTON, April 30, 2015 - Gayle Smith, a member of the National Security Council staff, is being nominated by President Obama as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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She would replace Rajiv Shah, who left the post earlier this year.

"Gayle's energy and passion have been instrumental in guiding America's international development policy, responding to a record number of humanitarian crises worldwide, and ensuring that development remains at the forefront of the national security agenda at a time when USAID is more indispensable than ever,” Obama said.

 

Smith has been senior director for development and democracy for the National Security Council since 2009, where her responsibilities included oversight for the administration's $1 billion-a-year Feed the Future initiative.

 

She was previously a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, after having served at the National Security Council from 1998 to 2001 and as senior adviser to the chief of staff and administrator of USAID from 1994 to 1998.

 

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She is also a former board member of the development and advocacy group Oxfam America. The group's president, Raymond Offenheiser, said she is “a steadfast reformer who is poised to refine and redefine the relevance of the development sector in a new era.”

 

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