Foreign Policy Blogs

Inaugural Post

Welcome to the Great Decisions 2008 Foreign Policy Blogs. Over the next year I’m going to be posting on global philanthropy. Although the primary purpose is to discuss the increasingly private nature of foreign aid, a full treatment of the subject has to include government Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Foreign Aid is a broad topic that covers a lot more than who is giving how much money to whom – and I hope to cover the scope as well as taking the opportunity to delve into the weeds of a few of the key issues. I’ll be discussing some of the fundamental questions such as “why do/should we give foreign aid? But I feel strongly that these questions accomplish nothing if we don't also look at how aid is given, what it finances, and ultimately what effects it has on beneficiary societies.

This can also be a controversial topic. We’re talking about people's lives here, and it should evoke emotions. While I will try to give multiple sides to the issues, I’m going to try to get over my stage fright and occasionally say things that may make people angry. I hope you’ll comment in these cases, because in foreign aid there are rarely simple answers, and frank discussion is the only way to get anywhere.



Kevin Dean

Kevin Dean is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in international conflict management and humanitarian emergencies at Georgetown University. Before returning to school in Fall 2006, he spent six years working in the former Soviet Union - most of that time spent in Central Asia. He has managed a diverse range of international development programs for the US State Department and USAID. He has also consulted for several UN agencies and international NGOs, and is fluent in Russian. Kevin is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and studied Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Iowa.