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Global Citizen Welcomes the Nomination of Ambassador Mark Green to Serve as USAID Administrator

flickr / U.S. Department of State // Ambassador Mark Green, left, with Former Secretary of State John Kerry

The nomination of Mark Green to lead the USAID was met with rare, but much warranted, bipartisan support.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which was created in 1961 by executive order under President John F. Kennedy, is one of the most important government agencies engaged in foreign aid.

At less than 1% of the federal budget, America’s foreign assistance helps to further education, promote democracy, strengthen economic prosperity, improve global public health, and prevent famine —  issues that Global Citizen consistently campaigns on.

READ MORE: The Little Known History of US Foreign Aid

The nomination of Ambassador Green could not come at a better time. With foreign aid under attack in the proposed budget from the White House, and Congress preparing to draft their budget, Global Citizen is excited to have an USAID Administrator who knows the importance of foreign aid.

On Thursday June 15th, the former Representative from Wisconsin and former United States Ambassador to Tanzania appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The hearing, which can be viewed in its entirety here, featured strong endorsements from bipartisan members of Congress, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan making a rare appearance in the Senate. During his testimony, Speaker Ryan called Ambassador Green the “perfect person for the job,” saying he has spent his lifetime “advocating for people who cannot advocate for themselves.”

READ MORE: Richer, Safer, Healthier: 4 Ways Robust Foreign Aid Is Good for Americans

Speaker Ryan was joined by Senator Ron Johnson, also of Wisconsin, who offered his unequivocal support of Ambassador Green’s appointment, calling him an “inspired choice” who has “repeatedly set his personal well being aside to make the world a better place for countless others.”

During his hearing, Ambassador Green assured the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that USAID “will always be there when disaster strikes, because that is who we are as Americans.”

Read More: The Trump Administration Wants to Cut Food Aid Amid a Famine — But Congress Can Stop It

Mark Green first served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Wisconsin from 1999 to 2007. Following an unsuccessful run for Governor in Wisconsin in 2006, Green was appointed Ambassador to Tanzania from, where he served from 2007 to 2009.

Ambassador Green’s relationship with Africa began long before his tenure in Tanzania. Green’s father was born in South Africa, and he spent time there as a child. Then, before his career in politics, Green, along with his wife, taught English in Kenya through NGO World Teach from 1987-1988. 

Nor did Ambassador Green’s international development work end with his tenure in Tanzania. He continued advocating for United States’ developmental aid as a member of the board of directors for both Malaria No More, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Following the announcement of President Trump’s intention to nominate Ambassador Green on May 10th, a wide range of NGO’s and bipartisan politicians voiced their support, including from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a network of over 500 NGOs and businesses.

In a statement the President and CEO of USGLC, Liz Schrayer, called Ambassador Green an “exceptional choice,” saying “Mark is a proven conservative leader who has been at the forefront of transforming America’s foreign assistance programs for more than a decade.”

Publications, such as Foreign Policy, the Guardian, and NPR, all published articles in support of Ambassador Green’s nomination, with Foreign Policy claiming Green, if confirmed, will be “one of the most qualified and capable USAID administrators in history.”

Take Action: Sign The Petition To Stand For US Foreign Assistance

“Development assistance, prioritized, deployed accurately and effectively, helps keep us safer and grow US economy,” Green said during his opening remarks.

Global Citizen looks forward to working with a strong advocate for US development aid as the House gets ready to draft their budget for fiscal year 2018. We are confident in Ambassador Green’s ability to harness support for USAID during a time when the White House is calling for drastic cuts to foreign assistance.