CRS President Recommended to Millennium Challenge Corporation Board

Catholic Relief Services
Friday, 12 March 2004

Catholic Relief Services President & CEO Ken Hackett was recommended to serve on the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors, among the first non-governmental members to be suggested to the panel.

In a letter to President Bush yesterday, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) recommended that Mr. Hackett fill one of the four slots on the Board reserved for private-sector members. The Board will oversee the implementation of the Millennium Challenge Account, the new foreign assistance program scheduled to add $5 billion per year in new funding for aid by 2006.

Noting CRS as "one of the world's finest development organizations," Sen. Daschle writes in the letter of recommendation that Mr. Hackett has worked "both in the field fighting poverty and here in the United States to make sure that American public policy reflects the generosity and humanitarian spirit of the American people."

If nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Hackett will join current Board members Secretary of State Colin Powell as Chairman, Secretary of Treasury John Snow, U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Andrew Natsios. The full Board will also include the Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO and four private-sector members, all of whom are to be nominated by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. So far Paul Applegarth has been nominated for the CEO position.

Mr. Hackett's entire career has focused on aiding the poor and disenfranchised throughout the world. He has worked with Catholic Relief Services for more than 30 years both in the field and in the Baltimore headquarters. In 1993, he was appointed CEO and President of the agency. As the leader of CRS, he oversees a global staff of more than 4,000 and operations in 94 countries and territories. Under his leadership, CRS, the official humanitarian relief and development agency of the Catholic community in the United States, has gained recognition as one of the most efficient and effective aid agencies in the world.

"I am honored to be recommended by Sen. Daschle," Mr. Hackett said. "The Millennium Challenge Account is a unique opportunity to reinvigorate foreign assistance and increase its impact on the lives of the world's 2.8 billion people who live in poverty. If nominated and confirmed, I hope to bring relief and development expertise and a civil-society perspective to the Board."

For more information, or to contact Catholic Relief Services, see their website at: www.catholicrelief.org

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