Post submitted by former Senior International Policy Advocate Jeremy Kadden
Ambassador Mark Green has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), America’s largest provider of global development assistance.
As we have reported before, Green (not to be confused with the anti-LGBTQ Mark Green who was forced to withdraw his nomination as Army Secretary) pledged at his Senate confirmation hearing in June that, if confirmed, he would work to ensure that USAID’s programming reaches vulnerable LGBTQ people around the world. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a longtime champion of LGBTQ rights and lead sponsor of the Global Respect Act, had asked Green how he would handle countries that are harming LGBTQ people.
“We need to make sure that our programming reaches all marginalized communities, and in many parts of the world LGBT marginalized communities,” Green responded. “Violence and discrimination targeting any vulnerable group undermines our collective security as well as our American values….No country can rise if it is discriminating against any marginalized community. No country can be a vibrant democracy if it isn't listening to all of its voices.”
Upon taking office, Green will oversee USAID’s $16 billion in annual foreign assistance, reaching over 100 developing countries. He will also be tasked with carrying out USAID’s policy that prohibits any discrimination against LGBTQ people in the conduct of USAID programs. USAID was the first U.S. agency to prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination abroad, which has not yet been replicated in other agencies. He will also face extraordinary challenges, since USAID is facing steep budget cuts in the administration’s FY2018 budget proposal, many of which will harm LGBTQ people abroad who depend on U.S. funding of health and human rights programs.
HRC welcomes Green to this new position and looks forward to working with him and his staff to ensure that USAID’s development work reaches and helps LGBTQ communities and individuals around the world.