Craig Lasher

Population Action International (PAI)

Craig Lasher has been a Senior Policy Analyst at Population Action International (PAI) since 1989.  He joined PAI in 1981 while completing his master's degree in international affairs at The American University's School of International Service after having received his B.A. in government from Hamilton College.  He is a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and the political advisory committee of the League of Conservation Voters.


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Restructuring the U.S. Foreign Assistance Program

Craig Lasher

Craig Lasher is a Senior Policy Analyst at Population Action International (PAI).

As a veteran foreign aid advocate, I was keenly interested when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced in January a major restructuring of the U.S. government's foreign assistance program under a new vision of "transformational diplomacy." Its lofty goal was described as "helping to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system." As the details of the new strategic framework for foreign aid begin to emerge, however, my cynical concern that short-term national security and democracy promotion objectives favored by the State Department would trump the traditional focus of U.S. foreign assistance on development and poverty reduction appears to be on its way to being confirmed. Such a shift could prove enormously detrimental to long-term development programs, including family planning and reproductive health.

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