I am thrilled to inform you that our dear friend and colleague, and my predecessor as Dean, Brian Atwood, will be returning to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in January 2013 as Professor of Public Affairs. As you know, Brian has served with distinction as Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for the past two years, where he shepherded the landmark Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The Busan Declaration establishes a framework for development cooperation that embraces traditional donors, the emerging economies, the global south, civil society organizations and the private sector.
We are so very eager to draw on Brian's experiences at the DAC, as well as his decades of public service.
I have asked Brian to serve as Chair of the School's Global Policy Area, which Brian established as part of a reorganization some years ago. In that capacity, Brian will lead our effort to integrate and strengthen our global affairs scholarship, training and service, and further extend the reach of the Humphrey School through policy engagement in places like Washington, New York, Tokyo and Geneva, and through partnerships in Europe, Asia, Latin American and around the world.
I want to express my deep appreciation to Freeman Chair Professor Robert Kudrle, who has served as head of Global Policy since 2007 and will work closely with Brian through the upcoming transition.
In conclusion, I thought you'd be interested in seeing the text of the letter of resignation that Brian sent to DAC delegates and OECD Ambassadors, and have attached it for your information. [pasted below]
Eric Schwartz. Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.
July 12 Letter to delegates of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (DAC), OECD Ambassadors and Directorate staff.
At the end of December this year, I will have completed my second year as DAC Chair. With your active support we will have created a new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, embarked on an aggressive new global relations strategy, reformed the internal processes of the DAC, contributed positively to a new Strategy on Development at OECD, approved a Program for Work and Budget for 2013/14, and strengthened DAC members' relationship to their partners. There is much more to be done, but I have decided to leave those tasks to my successor, as I will return to my academic position upon the completion of my current term.
This has not been an easy decision; it is taken with considerable regret as my family and I have enjoyed our tenure here. We have made many new personal friends and have enjoyed the experience of living in our host country, France. The working environment within the OECD is stimulating and the focus Secretary General Angel Gurria has placed on development has given the DAC yet a new function: working with other OECD entities whose perceptions and disciplines often challenge our thinking. The occasional frustrations are far outweighed by the hope that new, more coherent policy tools will be available to our member states and our partners. We have been deeply impressed by the high quality of staff at OECD, particularly the Directorate for Development Co-operation and those in other parts of the so-called "development cluster."
It is my fervent hope that I will be replaced by a DAC Chair who has a similar background in running a development ministry/agency, a person who can be effective in promoting the development agenda. The period we are in holds great promise for development progress, but it will require careful nurturing of the new Global Partnership, especially the relationship with new providers from the emerging economies. The DAC will have to demonstrate that it will fulfill its Busan commitments, do all possible to empower partners, and exercise discretion and patience as the emerging powers begin to comprehend their global obligations and the need to produce development results with their South-South partners.
This will take leadership that is diplomatic, political and technical in character. It will take sensitivity to the needs of member states, an understanding of the role of the United Nations and the international financial institutions, and knowledge of the political dynamics of the G-20, G-8 and G-77. This is a unique position within the international system. While the incumbent is the Chair of an OECD committee, the reach and vision of the Chair must often go far beyond the OECD. Meeting all these demands will require the full-time attention of a leader with experience at the highest level.
I will personally urge former ministers and agency heads to volunteer to serve in this position, respecting the sovereign responsibility of member states to nominate candidates. My hope is that the DAC Chair financing arrangements will be shared among all members as I have proposed. This potentially will expand the pool of candidates, place the emphasis on merit, and further underscore the impartiality of the incumbent. We must resolve this issue quickly as there is too little time to debate the process. Our most important goal should be to serve the interests of the DAC and its many partners in the development community.
I want to assure you that I will serve out my full tenure with energy and enthusiasm. We have much yet to do to assure that the gains we have made are consolidated. A High Level meeting at the end of the year will culminate a period of accomplishment for the DAC and position the committee well for the vitally important period leading to 2015. I will do all in my power to engage our members and partners in this effort. I thank all DAC members and observers for your understanding and your continued support.
Sincerely, Brian Atwood