Millennium Challenge Corporation; United States of America

Building on a Strong Foundation

As I near the end of my first week as Acting CEO, I have not yet amassed enough new experience to justify a long posting today. One of the things I have learned is that I am grateful to Rodney Bent and Ambassador John Danilovich, the outgoing Acting and former CEOs respectively, for leaving the organization in such good shape. I think most observers, both internal and external, recognize that MCC is now functioning better than ever, and the previous management team deserves much credit for their contributions over the years.

This view that MCC is functioning well is validated by analysis and data. A new working paper, written by two MCC economists and available here on our public website, assesses MCC institutional practices using a rating system developed by William Easterly and Tobias Pfutze of NYU and Georgetown University, respectively. This new analysis ranks MCC 8th among 40 foreign assistance agencies, and suggests that MCCs ranking will rise as our portfolio of programs matures.

Of course, after more than 18 months of service as Vice President for Compact Implementation, I am perhaps more aware than anyone of the challenges this institution faces. In the coming months, MCC should continue to accelerate disbursements, even as we maintain our focus on the measurable results delivered to beneficiaries in partner countries. We also need to continue our engagement with the eight countries that are currently developing programs to ensure that the quality of programs improves over time. MCC is now five years old, but it is still a young and vibrant institution that needs to be given the opportunity to learn and grow.

At this point, for however long my tenure as Acting CEO lasts, I want to assure those of you who closely monitor MCC and our practices that I will preserve the atmosphere of open engagement that was fostered by those who have occupied the CEO office before me. I will be encouraging MCC management to continue our ongoing substantive dialogue with external audiences and to explore ideas on how we can make MCC as effective as possible at delivering on its mandate to reduce poverty through economic growth.