The Future of Foreign Aid: A Better Place for America in a Better World

Washington has been abuzz with talk about the future of U.S. foreign assistance. In a time of serious economic crisis, development experts have offered President-elect Obama and his team a number of recommendations for streamlining foreign aid and increasing its effectiveness as a powerful, efficient tool of U.S. international engagement. We all want our U.S. tax dollars sent abroad to be invested wisely, to deliver results that matter in the fight against global poverty, and to further Americas image and positive influence throughout the world.

From its creation, MCC has advocated for country-led and country-implemented anti-poverty strategies that stress efficiency and accountability. Our aid rewards countries committed to good governance and to results. I discussed these very principles during a conversation with Steve Radelet from the Center for Global Development earlier today. During the event, I was again impressed by the active, vocal support that exists for these principles.

We hear these same values echoed in studies by leading think tanks and in recent opinion pieces on the pages of Americas newspapers. The private sector members of MCCs Board of DirectorsLorne Craner, Bill Frist, Kenneth Hackett, and Alan Patricofpenned a bipartisan, joint op-ed for the New York Times on December 20th in which they stated that not all foreign aid is the same. Hard lessons learned over the past five decades have taught us that good governance, accountability, local ownership, and long-term engagement are the keys to success.

As Americans prepare for a historic inauguration, President-elect Obamas administration recognizes the value of foreign aid to enhance Americas place in the world. MCC is a manifestation of this.

MCCs smart power not only makes the world a better place but also makes Americas place in the world better. In ongoing discussions about the future framework of U.S. foreign aid, MCC will serve as a strong platform for building upon and reinforcing what works to deliver effective assistance and thereby bring sustainable positive change to the lives of the worlds poor. Ive been honored to be a part of MCCs contribution to this noble effort and will continue to closely follow its progress moving forward as an advocate and champion.