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"Resignation of Ambassador Randall L. Tobias" Jim Cunder, USAID, & Sean McCormack US Department of State, 27 April 2007

Dear colleagues:

It is with great sadness that I announce that Ambassador Randall Tobias has resigned this afternoon as the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

During Ambassador Tobias’ tenure, he brought a new vision, purpose and future for USAID. We thank him for not only his pioneering work as the nation’s first director of U.S. Foreign Assistance but also for his previous outstanding leadership of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

USAID continues to be the world’s premier development and humanitarian assistance agency. For well over 45 years, we have been an innovative leader in bringing vital assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. U.S. foreign assistance now occupies a vital spot in our nation’s National Security Strategy. Our work is critical to America’s efforts to bring peace and stability to all nations of the world.

During this time of transition, I call upon each of you to join with me in continuing our efforts to reinvigorate USAID and to implement our mission in support of the Secretary’s Transformational Diplomacy objectives. I have appended this afternoon's announcement by the Secretary.

Thank you,

Jim Kunder

Statement by the Department of State Spokesman, Sean McCormack

Ambassador Randall Tobias informed the Secretary today that he must step down as Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator effective immediately. He is returning to private life for personal reasons.

First, as the Administration's Ambassador for the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) then as USAID Administrator and director of foreign assistance, Randy has been a leader in helping the most vulnerable populations around the globe whether it was by acting to alleviate hunger or preventing the spread of infectious disease or directing assistance to victims of natural disasters. Under Ambassador Tobias' leadership at PEPFAR, the United States supported delivery of life-saving antiretroviral treatment to hundreds of thousands of people and saved countless other lives through AIDS prevention programs. As the State Department's first Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, Randy helped lead one of the Department's most far reaching reforms in recent memory, resulting in better matching of policy goals and delivery of international assistance. The lives saved and made better around the globe by Randy's work at the State Department constitute a rich legacy on which he can look back with justifiable pride.

Deputy Secretary John Negroponte will temporarily assume the duties of the director of foreign assistance. Acting Deputy Administrator Jim Kunder will be acting as Administrator of USAID.