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CGD Policy Blogs


Three of Four MCC Public Board Seats Vacant

This is a joint post with Casey Dunning.

One of the stand-out attributes of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is its board of directors. It’s chaired by the Secretary of State; vice-chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury; and includes the USAID Administrator, U.S. Trade Representative, the MCC CEO, and four public (non-government) members. The board plays an active and important role in MCC decision-making. But right now, three of the four public board seats are vacant.

MCC’s legislation requires the four public MCC board members to be appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. Majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate each nominate an individual (for a total of four board positions) that the White House then approves. Previous public board members Alan Patricof and Lorne Craner have both agreed to stay on for a second term, but their names await approval from the White House (and are currently not listed on the MCC website). The fourth spot – recently held by Catholic Relief Services president Ken Hackett who served two terms – is entirely vacant. The list of nominees to replace Hackett is reportedly with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office and has not yet made its way to the White House for approval.

Why do the empty MCC board seats matter?

Vikram Akula: Early Writings

My girlfriend pushed me out of Philadelphia in 1992. She told me to seek my future, if not my fortune, in Washington, DC. I was a 24-year-old with vague hopes of writing about grand issues of economics and the environment, and with deep humility about how a college degree in mathematics suited me for such work---if such work existed. Before moving, I somehow learned that one could order by mail a booklet listing internships in Washington. I ordered, waited, received, and soon began with trepidation to call the phone numbers in the booklet.

MCC Reorg

This is a joint post with Casey Dunning.

Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes has announced plans to reorganize to improve the MCC’s focus on results, partnerships, policy reform, and gender. MCC will combine compact development and compact implementation units, and economic analysis and evaluation will be integrated into an enhanced department of policy and evaluation (formerly policy and international relations).

The changes come as the MCC moves from start-up to steady program and is about to complete its first compacts. MCC followers will recall that compact development and compact implementation departments were separated a few years ago in an effort to get money out of the door faster. Today, the MCC pace is quicker and it makes sense to have the same staff working on compact development and implementation, especially as the MCC closes out compacts in Honduras and Cape Verde that are reaching the end of their five year terms.

Ironies in Yunus Attack on SKS IPO

First, an apology: I've been silent without explanation these last few weeks. I've been diverted this summer from microcredit to macrocredit as I write a retrospective on the Jubilee 2000 debt cancellation movement. The deadline has felt tight enough to squeeze out blogging (though I hope to change that soon, and will let you know) and, as a further cause of hesitation, I have been unsure about whether to post here or on CGD's main blog.

Turning the Tide through Better Prevention: Mead Over on the AIDS Transition

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We've selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on May 25, 2010.

Even as the cost of treating HIV/AIDS has fallen dramatically, the number of people newly infected has remained high. What can be done to reverse this trend and finally defeat this disease? This week on the Wonkcast, I’m joined by Mead Over, a senior fellow here at the Center for Global Development and perhaps the world’s leading expert on the economics of HIV/AIDS. He has recently published two major essays, which introduce the concept of the “AIDS transition”—the point in time where the number of people living with the disease begins to fall. He argues persuasively that to reach this point, international donors must greatly strengthen incentives for effective prevention.