The Road to Better Aid: An Emerging Bipartisan Consensus?
With an introduction by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
A Joint Event with the Center for American Progress
About This Event
Online registration for this event is closed. Walk-in registrations will not be accepted. For media inquiries, please contact Veronique Rodman at 202-862-4870 or [email protected].

Video of this event will be livestreamed online at

Established during the Bush administration with bipartisan congressional support, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) relies on a core set of principles: economic growth, competitive selection, accountability, and measurable results. President Obama has testified that his administration embraces the MCC approach as a model for development policy reform. As the new Congress considers the future of foreign assistance, Daniel Yohannes, CEO of MCC, and panelists from across the political spectrum will gather to discuss whether a bipartisan consensus is emerging on aid effectiveness and assess MCC's experience in putting these best principles into practice. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili will introduce Mr. Yohannes.

12:00 p.m.
Registration and Luncheon


DANIEL YOHANNES, Millennium Challenge Corporation

Question and Answer

JOHN NORRIS, Center for American Progress


Question and Answer


Speaker biographies

Mikheil Saakashvili was elected president of Georgia in January 2004, following what has become known as the Rose Revolution. Before that, he was president of the Sakrebulo (City Council) of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia (2002–2004) and minister of justice of Georgia (October 2000–2001). Beginning in January 2000, Mr. Saakashvili was vice president of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, and he served as head of the Georgian delegation in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly that year. In 1995, he was elected as a head of the Constitutional, Legal Issues, and Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. The Georgian mass media and several nongovernmental organizations recognized Mr. Saakashvili as 1997 Man of the Year. Previously, he worked at the Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, the Human Rights Protection State Committee of Georgia, and one of the biggest advocate firms in New York.
Daniel W. Yohannes is the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). A philanthropist from Englewood, Colorado, Mr. Yohannes has more than thirty years of experience in banking and economic development. He was nominated as CEO of MCC by President Barack Obama and later confirmed by the Senate in November 2009. Previously, Mr. Yohannes was president of M&R Investments, a firm specializing in financial services and the renewable-energy sector. Before launching M&R Investments, he was a leader in the financial services industry, working in various roles such as vice chairman and member of the management committee of US Bank, president and CEO of Colorado National Bank, and executive vice president of Security Pacific Bank (now Bank of America). In 2006, Mr. Yohannes cofounded the New Resource Bank in San Francisco, California, to invest in green projects and environmentally sustainable businesses in the community. He also served as chairman of the Greenprint Council, a leadership group established by the mayor of Denver focused on improving the environment of cities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Mauro De Lorenzo is a visiting fellow at AEI and vice president, freedom and free enterprise, at the John Templeton Foundation. He is responsible for creating research and educational initiatives on individual and constitutional freedoms, free enterprise, the benefits of free competition, the relationship between markets and character formation, entrepreneurship, and enterprise solutions to poverty. Previously, Mr. De Lorenzo was a resident fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at AEI. In a pro bono capacity, he staffs former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist for his service on the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

John Norris is the executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peace-Building Initiative at the Center for American Progress. He has served in a number of senior roles in government, international institutions, and nonprofits. Previously, Mr. Norris was executive director of the Enough Project, an advocacy organization committed to preventing war crimes around the world. He was the chief of political affairs for the UN Mission in Nepal as that country tried to emerge from a decade-long war. Mr. Norris was also the Washington chief of staff for the International Crisis Group, conducting extensive field work and senior advocacy to resolve conflicts in South Asia, Africa, and the Balkans. Earlier in his career, he served as the director of communications for deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott. He also worked as a speechwriter and field disaster expert at USAID. Mr. Norris is the author of several books, including The Disaster Gypsies: Humanitarian Workers in the World’s Deadliest Conflicts (Praeger, 2007), a memoir of his work in the field of emergency relief; and Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo (Praeger, 2005). He has published commentary in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

Philip I. Levy, a resident scholar at AEI, studies international trade and development. Before joining AEI, he handled international economic issues as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff, was senior economist for trade on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and was a faculty member in Yale University’s department of economics. An economist by training, he has experience in many international trade and development policy issues, including free trade agreements, trade with China, antidumping policy, welfare effects of globalization, US foreign-assistance policy, and economic development policy.
A Joint Event with the Center for American Progress
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