January 24: In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah responded to calls from Republicans in Congress to cut development and foreign aid, stating it would undermine US national security. Shah explained that it would not only put USAID’s reforms in jeopardy, but have “real and drastic negative implications for American power and the ongoing missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

January 25: The Washington Post published a story on USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah’s recent speech at the Center for Global Development. The Post reported that Shah outlined a new vision for USAID with the goal of replacing the agency over time by “efficient local governments, by thriving civil societies and by a vibrant private sector.”

January 26: The Huffington Post published an op-ed by USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa Larry Garber on the recent election held in Southern Sudan. In the piece, Garber underscored the importance of the vote and how significant it is given the challenges the region has overcome in recent years.

January 27: Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog presented statements made by State Department’s outgoing Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter arguing for the increase of funding for USAID and the State Department.  She called for budget increases in targeted areas for certain USAID and State programs in order to implement crucial reforms and streamline the system.