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ADST Interview with Andrew Natsios by Carol Peasley
May 26, 2021
2:31 pm
Tish Butler
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Forum Posts: 75
Member Since:
April 22, 2016
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The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project — Foreign Assistance Series

ANDREW NATSIOS
Interviewed by: Carol Peasley Initial interview date: April 24, 2018 Copyright 2019 ADST. (See Table of Contents below and this link to the text of the interview: https://adst.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Natsios-Andrew.pdf

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Childhood and Early Background
Grandparents: Greek Immigrants
Lowell and Holliston, MA Childhood
Congregational Church – and The Heifer Project Childhood Trip to Greece – and Seeing USAID Results Famine in Greece – Remembering Uncle Demetrius Georgetown University – BA; 1971
Massachusetts Political Life
Elected to State Legislature in 1974 – Calvin Coolidge’s Seat
Friendship with Andrew Card
Republican Party Chairmanship at 29 Years of Age – “Blood Sport”
1980 Presidential Campaign
Announcing Selection of George H.W. Bush as Reagan Vice-President Choice Introduction to USAID by Peter McPherson
expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the
Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.
Director of USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Assistant Administrator for Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs (BHA)
Woods Report – and Thoughts About Development Theory Replacing Julia Taft
Three Early Emergencies
Train Explosion in Ufa, Russia Tiananmen Square
Southern Sudan
Growth of OFDA: $20 million to $200 million
1989-1993
AID-OAA-F-16-00101. The opinions
1
Civil Wars: Mozambique, Sudan, and Ethiopia
Soviet Union – Preventing Food Crisis – and Building Relations with Senior
Government Official – the Man Who Saved Gorbachev Against Coup DART Teams – Overseeing First Deployments
Shifting OFDA to Focus on Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
Relief and Development Conflicts – Changing Organizational Culture
First Gulf War – Natsios Mobilized and Military/OFDA Collaboration and Protecting Palestinians in Kuwait
Somalia and Bosnia – Active Duty Army Reserve Assignment
More OFDA and Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs
Food Aid Reform – Local Procurement
Southern Africa Drought of 1991-92
Clash of Counter-Bureaucracy with Development Kurdish DART Team – Fred Cuny and Dayton Maxwell
Role of OFDA in Defining USG Strategy Support by Joint Chiefs of Staff “Outing” the Iraqi Secret Police
Soviet Food Aid Analysis – Fred Cuny Study
Fred Cuny Papers at Texas A&M University
OFDA: Value of Decentralized Decision-making in Emergencies
World Vision – Vice President for International Programs
Advising USAID About NGO Efforts to Move Food Aid to USDA North Korea Famine – Food Aid and Politics
U.S. Committee on South Sudan
Sudan – Miscellaneous Thoughts
South Sudan – Thoughts on Where Things Went Bad John Garang’s Death
2005: USAID Sudan Mission Director Appointment 2006: Meeting with Sheik Musa Hilal, Militia Leader
Back to Massachusetts
Secretary of Administration and Finance
Director of “Big Dig” in Boston – Contractor Challenges
1993-1998
USAID Administrator
Comparing “Management Rules” with Secretary Powell
Senior Management Training
Afghanistan: Pre and Post 9/11
President Bush Policy to not use Food Aid as a Weapon
President Bush Meeting with African Leaders – My AID Administrator
Doing a Good Job?
Millennium Challenge Account and Creation of the MCC –
2
1998-2000
2001-2006

Early USAID Support
Technical Staff – Strengthening Pillar Bureaus and Centralization Creation of DCHA, Office of Military Affairs, and Office of Conflict,
Mitigation, and Management Global Development Alliance
September 11, 2001 – and Follow-up Security Efforts
Post-9/11 Visit to “Stans” and Northern Afghanistan
Building USAID Afghanistan Program – Planning vs. Reactive Programming
Kabul-Kandahar Highway
Agriculture – high yielding wheat seed
Schools and Text Books – threatened law suits from Right and Left Inter-Agency Challenges
Afghan Task Force Within USAID
American University of Kabul
Media Program – Development of TV and Radio Industry Inspector General for Afghanistan
Agriculture/Irrigation
Physical Buildings vs. Capacity Building
Pre-9/11 Efforts to Connect Foreign Assistance to U.S. National Interests Iraq: Correlation Between USAID Activities and Lower Troop Casualties USAID Budget Authority
Keys to Well-Functioning Bureaucracy
Consensus on “mission” or objectives Autonomy from other agencies Results-oriented operations
Creation of State Department’s F Bureau –
Effort to Eliminate Turf Battles Goes Awry
Creation of PEPFAR – USAID vs. CDC and Prevention vs. Treatment Building USAID Iraq Program
Reconstruction Planning Process
DOD Takes Over
Delayed Start of Agriculture Programming Fuels Insurrection Marsh Restoration
C-SPAN Filming of USAID in Iraq
Natsios Memo with Recommendations on Iraq
Real Reconstruction vs. Infrastructure: USAID vs. CPA
2004 Bob Gersony Review of USAID in Iraq – highly positive Thoughts on Senior Staffing
Higher Education Reform – Critical to Changing a Society –
Lost Opportunity in Iraq
Sudan
Darfur – Gathering Evidence and UN Security Council Resolution
and Forecasting Casualties North-South Peace Agreement – USAID Role
3

Aceh Tsunami – Massive U.S. Response
Rapid Increase in U.S. Approval Rate
Former Presidents Clinton and Bush – Public/Private Response
Modernizing USAID Business Systems
Electronic Procurement System
Management Information System
White Paper – and New Budgeting System Employee Surveys: Using and Making Public USAID Branding Campaign
Global Development Alliance
Improving Response to Fragile States – New Structures Disabled Initiative
Major Programmatic Changes in Ethiopia – Major Results Expanding USAID Focus on Economic Reform and Growth

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