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?