Making the Transition: How We're Preparing for 2017

Making the Transition: How We're Preparing for 2017


During these last few weeks before President-elect Trump takes office, CARE’s staff and advocates are suiting up to do some of our most important work.  We’ll be starting out strong come January 20th with plenty of friends on both sides of the aisle in the 115th Congress. We also have strong partnerships with many sister organizations that support CARE’s mission. We’re preparing for cabinet confirmation hearings and working to get nominees on the record in support of our agenda. We’re also meeting regularly with champion supporters on the Hill and loading them up with data and talking points they can use to talk about CARE’s policy issues with their congressional colleagues and transition team members. 

While the incoming cabinet won’t be finalized until the Senate confirms each nominee, here’s what we know so far about the people who will be shaping the new Administration’s agenda:

Secretary of Defense -- Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis -- he has spoken publicly about the critical importance of diplomacy and development for global and national security.  He’s been very engaged with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and understands the value of CARE’s work. We think Mattis could become an important voice for development in President Trump’s ear.

Secretary of State -- Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson -- while his political career has yet to be established, he’s not new to global development and humanitarian assistance. In 2011, the UN Foundation recognized Tillerson for ExxonMobil’s commitment to help substantially reduce malaria deaths and increase economic opportunities for girls and women. The UN called Tillerson’s efforts an example of the positive impact multinational corporations can have when they sync their business interests with development priorities.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations –- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley -- one of four women picked for cabinet positions so far.  She is the daughter of immigrants from India, and has led a number of global trade missions around the world.

Administrator of USAID – There is not a nominee yet for this integral role, but we’ve heard rumors that Mark Green is being considered. Green is a former Member of Congress, former ambassador to Tanzania, a member of USGLC and President of the International Republican Institute.  We’ve worked with Green in the past and found him to be thoughtful and deeply committed to democracy and global development.  Just the fact that his name is in the mix for this critical position is good news.   

We also have a CARE Learning Tours’ alum serving on Trump’s transition team: Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA-10) traveled with CARE to Ghana and Liberia in 2012. His first-hand experience witnessing CARE’s work turned Marino into a strong advocate for our mission. 

As we wait to find out who our key players will be, we’re putting together a proactive agenda that focuses on:

  • Educating the new Administration officials and Members of Congress about what CARE does and why it’s important. 
  • Strengthening relationships with returning Members of Congress and encouraging them to continue being CARE champions in a new political climate. 
  • Creating new strategies and opportunities for CARE Action Network members to help shape the future of development and foreign aid. 

Stayed tuned for more information on the incoming Administration and our transition efforts.

Rachael Leman

Executive Director

CARE Action

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