Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Publication Location: WASHINGTON
Contact: Kathryn Schoenberger   |   [email protected]

World Learning warmly congratulates Gayle E. Smith on her confirmation by the United States Senate as the seventeenth administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

World Learning President Donald Steinberg, who previously served as deputy administrator at USAID, expressed his deepest confidence in the new administrator. “I cannot think of a better choice to lead USAID and the American development mission,” Steinberg said. “In more than 20 years of working with Gayle, including in the Clinton and Obama administrations, she has proven time and time again her commitment to advancing global development and finding innovative ways to improve the lives of people around the world.”

Steinberg also saluted Acting Administrator Alfonso E. Lenhardt for his outstanding stewardship of USAID over the past year.

Administrator Smith served as special assistant to the president and senior director for Development and Democracy on the National Security Council staff, a position she held since 2009, with responsibility for global development, democracy, and humanitarian assistance issues. In her capacity as senior director, she has coordinated the first-ever Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, led the administration’s work on global health, oversaw the creation of presidential initiatives including Feed the Future, Power Africa, the Global Health Security Agenda, and the Open Government Partnership, and helped coordinate U.S. government responses to more than 15 major humanitarian crises around the world.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Administrator Smith she was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where she led the Sustainable Security Project and co-founded the ENOUGH Project and the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. She also served as special assistant to the president and senior director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from 1998 to 2001.