In a world as technologically advanced and reliant as ours, one would expect adaptation to be a staple component of every individual’s mindset. And yet, there are those in the political sphere who have oftentimes demonstrated their desire to subvert various transformative trends, technological or otherwise. One particularly notable trend concerns the reform efforts on the Foreign Assistance Act, a movement to which George Ingram has dedicated a significant portion of his career.
In his earlier experiences, Ingram witnessed such attempts stymied to a certain degree at multiple stages of implementation, whether it be from the House of Representatives to the presidential administration. While we should certainly not discredit the achievements made as a result of these initial initiatives, it is hard to deny that these efforts fully achieved the goals they had set out to realize.
And yet, we see in this “moment” in U.S. diplomatic history that such obstacles have not stopped Ingram from continually pursuing this ideal of reform. Later on in his career, Ingram became a crucial figure in the creation of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), an organization that strives to ensure efficiency of fund allocation in foreign assistance. Through his work, he not only was successful in drawing political attention to the need for rewriting the Foreign Assistance Act, but he also devoted more energy towards the notion of greater coherence and cooperation on existing fronts. In particular, he has advocated for greater use of the private sector by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in order to maximise the balance of its status between project manager and grant provider. Therefore, in order for efforts in foreign assistance aid to find new life in the modern day, it will be important for policy makers to keep two different approaches in mind: structurally revamping the system, and optimizing the existing infrastructure.