Short on development credentials, White House pick for next USAID head raises eyebrows
When Mark Green, the Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, announced his resignation, most assumed that the Deputy Administrator would take the helm. Instead, a relative unknown to the development community, John Barsa, currently the assistant administrator for USAID's Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, has been named.
Well-connected within the Trump Administration, Barsa served in the Department of Homeland Security and as a member of Trump's 'landing team' before coming to USAID. Although some have praised Barsa for his political and management skills, others expressed concern about his stark partisanship, as well as his work to cut funding to efforts against violent extremism and his role in controversial migration issues with Central America. Barsa will serve until a permanent head has been confirmed by the Senate, but this is unlikely to happen before the November 2020 presidential election.
No transition plan has yet been detailed.