January 18: In a profile piece, The Washington Post highlighted the work of a senior USAID official and his experience in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Burma. The USAID employee stated that he has been “very fortunate to have worked on important foreign policy priorities.”
January 20: In an interview with Reuters, USAID Administrator Shah said he plans to cut millions as the Administration looks to make budget cuts and as the agency seeks to restructure itself. Dr. Shah argued that administrative changes save about $65 million in operating expenses, and added, “We’re actually embarking on perhaps the most aggressive operational reform of a major federal bureaucracy. If we get the support for it, we will save American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over time.”
January 21: UK’s The Guardian newspaper reported that in a major speech given on January 19, USAID Administrator Shah stated that the agency plans on cutting costs and becoming more business-like in an effort to gain public and congressional support for US foreign assistance.