The U.S. government is attempting to reorganize itself in order to manage the proliferation of foreign aid programs more effectively. Carol Lancaster, a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and Ann Van Dusen, former chief executive officer for Save the Children, are co-authors of Organizing U.S. Foreign Aid: Confronting the Challenges of the 21st Century (Brookings Institution Press, 2005). The authors participated in a panel discussion with three other leading experts in foreign aid, including Stephen Krasner, director of policy planning, U.S. Department of State; Peter McPherson, president of Michigan State University; and Lael Brainard, vice president and director, Global Economy and Development Center, who moderated the discussion.
U.S. foreign aid has risen more in the past several years than at any time in recent decades. The management of U.S. government aid, especially for foreign development, is increasingly challenged by the expanding number of programs in many federal agencies. Lancaster and Van Dusen argue that if development policies and the use of foreign aid to promote them are to be effective, it is imperative to ask how the U.S. government should be organized to manage aid in the 21st century. Panelists discussed the need for reform and what this means for future foreign aid.