A young female Afghani professional. Photo credit: Daniel Wilkinson, State Department

The Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, and BBC among others reported on USAID’s new initiative known as “Promote,” a program to educate, train and empower at least 75,000 women between the ages of 18 to 30 in Afghanistan. In other words, explained USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, “it is a unique effort to ensure that women are a major part of Afghanistan’s social, economic and political fabric over the next decade, because if they’re not Afghanistan is not likely to be successful.”

The Seattle Times reported on Northern Lights, a local firm that recently finalized an innovative agreement with USAID that’s expected to trigger at least $100 million of new private investment in renewable-energy projects in rural India. Northern Lights partner Jack Swift, believes the project will spark “some really cool projects” in rural India. For example, Swift says, “Many of the cell phone towers are run by diesel — a guy drives out and fills the tank every week. What if those were run by solar?”

The Washington Post recently ran a story in their local section profiling USAID’s Cara Christie and her work on the Agency’s OFDA team during the crisis in the Horn of Africa. For their effort, Christie and the agency’s Horn Drought Humanitarian Response Team are finalists for the 2013 National Security and International Affairs Medal. She is quoted saying, “The U.S. is one of the biggest players in the humanitarian arena. I feel like I have a great job with a big humanitarian hand.”