Dec 10

Past Event

Beyond Assistance: Report of the HELP Commission on Foreign Aid Reform

Event Materials



  • Lael Brainard

    Brainard says one of the biggest challenges for the next president is putting a new face on how America engages with the rest of the world.

    Lael Brainard

  • Mary Bush

    Bush says the problems in the developing world and threats to peace and security require much more than foreign assistance.

  • Jim Kolbe

    Reforming foreign assistance will probably be down the ladder on the next administration''s priorities, Kolbe says, but he hopes we can raise the profile.

  • David Beckmann

    Foreign aid reform is one area where Democrats and Republicans can agree, says Beckmann.

  • Stuart E. Eizenstat

    Eizenstat''s praises the report''s approach to bringing together a number of different instruments at the same time to help developing countries.


The next President of the United States will have an opportunity to reshape the image America presents to its foreign partners. To do so will require leveraging U.S. soft power instruments, including foreign assistance. Yet, in order to harness the full potential of U.S. foreign assistance to meet the challenges of the 21st century, it must be structured and executed strategically. Understanding this challenge, Congress established the Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People around the Globe (HELP) Commission to study U.S. development and humanitarian assistance programs and to propose bold reform recommendations for relevant structures, mechanisms and incentives.

On December 10, the Global Economy and Development program hosted the HELP Commission for the official release of its report on foreign aid reform, Beyond Assistance. Mary Bush, chair of the HELP Commission, announced the commission’s recommendations during remarks. Additional commissioners discussed their views on reform priorities and next steps.  The second panel of independent experts led by Lael Brainard, vice president and director of Global Economy and Development, offered analysis of the HELP Commission’s report and discuss steps to move reform forward.

Event Agenda

  • Panel One

    • Mary Bush

      Chair, HELP Commission

    • Leo Hindery, Jr.

      Vice Chairman, HELP Commission

    • Benjamin Homan

      HELP Commission

    • Gayle Smith

      HELP Commission

    • Steven Berry

      HELP Commission

  • Panel Two

    • David Beckmann

      President, Bread for the World

    • Jim Kolbe

      Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the U.S.

    • Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat

      Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

  • Moderator

    • Bruce Stokes

      International Economics Columnist, National Journal


December 10, 2007

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105