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American People’s Foreign Policy: USAID’s Role in Apartheid South Africa

In 1986 Congress overrode a presidential veto on major foreign policy. During the 1980s, the American public increasingly resented the South African system of apartheid and urged the United States government to take major action. This led to bipartisan Congressional action to override President Reagan’s veto of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act [CAAA] of 1986. This […]

Raising the Standard of Living in Foreign Countries: USAID’s Housing Guarantee Program

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a crucial player in delivering assistance and aid to foreign countries. With a mission to reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help global communities emerge from crisis, USAID has spent the last sixty years implementing a variety of programs and initiatives to achieve such goals. One […]

The Consequences of Serendipity: From Peace Corps to USAID

Is anything ever truly up to chance? Or are these moments of chance instead a culmination of one’s hard work? Possibly both? Regardless, these moments of chance—or rather, serendipity—are something with which former U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Counselor Kelly Kammerer is familiar. Throughout Kammerer’s career in the Foreign Service, he describes several notable […]

From the Ground Up: USAID in Post-Soviet Russia

Six months after the fall of the Soviet Union, James (Jim) Norris became the USAID mission director in Russia. Not long before he set foot on Russian soil, though, the hammer and sickle flag was still flying over the Kremlin and Mikhail Gorbachev was still in office. However, the Soviet Union fell just as quickly […]

Was King Abdullah II’s Ascension to the Throne Key to the Success of USAID in Jordan?

The 1990s were a decade marked with intensive peace negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Although many efforts stalled, there was one exception: in 1994, Jordan’s King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a treaty that ended the state of war between both countries. After years of fighting, Hussein’s life-long dream became […]

“A Special Place in My Heart:” Memories of USAID in Vietnam

Images of the U.S. military in Vietnam are part of the American consciousness. But these images are only part of the story.  Often the lives and sacrifices of USAID workers are overlooked. They too made great contributions, joining with military personnel to deliver supplies to locals, promoting development in dangerous areas, and working with hamlet […]