Introductory Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes at MCC's Gender Integration in Practice Roundtable on the Margins of the 2010 U.N. General Assembly

It’s a particular honor to be joined by the first ladies of Lesotho and Malawi:

  • Her Excellency Mrs. Mathato Mosisili from Lesotho, and
  • Her Excellency Madame Callista Mutharika from Malawi,

Congressman Russ Carnahan from Missouri, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director Tina Tchen from the White House Council on Women and Girls, our co-host, All our distinguished leaders and guests, I am delighted to see such a great turnout for this roundtable discussion on gender equality.  Good morning, all, and many thanks for being here. 

For those I have yet to meet, I’m Daniel Yohannes, the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.  We are pleased to co-host this important discussion with the White House Council on Women and Girls created by President Obama.  It’s timely and relevant as world leaders gather for both the United Nations General Assembly and the MDG Summit.  MCC and the White House share a common vision for sustainable development, one that includes a commitment to gender integration and equality.  Any successful strategy for global economic prosperity must include economic opportunities for both women and men. Yet, women are often left out of development decisions and processes.

That is why, as you know, empowering women and girls in developing communities is key to poverty reduction.  And, that is also why gender equality is a top agency priority for us as we work to fulfill our mission of reducing global poverty through economic growth. 

Make no mistake about this: MCC is committed to deepening our recognized leadership in gender integration.  Our approach follows international best practices.  We analyze gender differences and inequalities for each project we fund and within the larger policy, institutional, and social context.  This gives us the

  • best overall program design,
  • strong implementation, and
  • effective monitoring and evaluation.

We are working to increase the capacity, the resources, and the accountability within MCC, and among our partner countries worldwide, to integrate gender analysis in every program we fund.

And, MCC’s commitment to gender integration starts at the top.  It is certainly a personal priority for how I want to define my tenure at MCC.  To reaffirm this high-level engagement, I’ve asked Cassandra Butts, the Senior Advisor in my office, to lead MCC’s efforts in this critical area.  Cassandra joins us today to participate in the roundtable discussion.

I wish you a very fruitful conversation.  All of us at MCC welcome your feedback and ideas for how we can continue to further—and make even stronger—our commitment to gender integration We know that when both men and women can be champions of their development, families, communities, and countries can—and do—experience new opportunities for prosperity and growth. 

Thank you very much, and please join me in welcoming Cassandra Butts to lead the roundtable discussion.  Cassandra…