Former USAID Director Natsios Outlines the Future on Foreign Aid



By Aurora Matthews

On Thurs. March 15, Andrew Natsios, former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), discussed the past and future of U.S. foreign aid, and the role of development in an uncertain world.  Natsios’ lecture was presented by the Professor Saul M. Katz Internal Lectureship on Economic and Social Development.

“We cannot save the world through foreign aid, but we can absolutely improve it through development,” said Natsios.  “The best changes are incremental.  We must have a long-term perspective.” 

Natsios explained in his lecture to a large audience on Thursday that there are three main types of foreign aid: charitable aid, grassroots development and state building.  His extensive experience working in international development has taught him that in order to successfully implement change through aid there needs to be local leaders willing to take risks as well as legitimate institutions.  “You can have a decentralized system, but you must have institutions to mediate conflict in an orderly way,” said Natsios. “Institution building must be part of development.”

Natsios sees the future of foreign aid following the new direction of public and private alliances.  “In the 1970’s, 70 percent of aid from the U.S. came from the public, but in 2007 only nine percent of capital flow was from the public sector.  The other 91 percent was from the private sector,” said Natsios.  “This is the future of foreign aid.”  He highlighted USAID’s Global Development Alliance model, a $9 billion program that is designed to deliver aid to developing countries through public-private partnerships, and the Sustainable Forest Products Global Alliance.  

Natsios served as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development from May 2001 to January 2006 and also served as the Special Envoy to Sudan.  He also was vice president of World Vision U.S., the largest faith-based NGO in the world from 1993 to 1998.  Natsios is currently a is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.  He is also the author of three books: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1997), The Great North Korean Famine (2001), Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur:  What Everyone Needs to Know (2012).

The Katz Lecture was established in 1994 by one of GSPIA’s founding faculty members, Dr. Saul M. Katz.  During much of Dr. Katz’s tenure at GSPIA he served as the Director of Programs in Economic and Social Development (now the Masters in International Development Degree) and was credited with putting to use 20 years of government and Army experience to prepare international students in development policies that would foster growth and self-sufficiency.  Past speakers of the Katz Lecture Series include: Dr. Dipak K. Gupta, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Diego State University; Steve McDonald, director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

This lecture was presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), the Ford Institute for Human Security, and International Orthodox Christian Charities and is endowed by the Saul M. Katz Lectureship on Social and Economic Development.

Click here, to watch the lecture.

To learn more about Andrew Natsios' views on the future of foreign aid, you may read:

Arrested Development: Making Aid an Effective Foreign Policy Tool

Private Alliances Transform Aid

Presentation to Society for International Development


Marriage Proposal Kicks Off GSPIA 2016 Honors & Graduation Ceremony

By Elizabeth Moody

Prior to the opening processional of the GSPIA 2016 Honors and Graduation Ceremony, another celebration took place on the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Museum. With the class of 2016 gathered for a photograph, Dean John Keeler asked Xuejiao Liu of Beijing, China (MPA ’16) to step forward.  Unbeknownst to Liu, her longtime boyfriend, Yifeng Pan, a project engineer from Ohio emerged from the crowd. He handed Dean Keeler a decorated sign, knelt down on one knee and asked Liu for her hand in marriage—setting the tone for the many speeches and accolades to come.

Accepting Applications for Fall 2016: Online Accelerated Mid-Career Master’s Program

Applications are now being accepted for the new 30-credit Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) online program. The MPPM online program provides professionals with at least five years of full-time work experience an opportunity to advance their careers at a time and place that is convenient for them.

Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Barrak (MPA ‘83/ PhD ’89) Honored at GSPIA Board of Visitors Reception

Dean John Keeler presented the GSPIA Distinguished Alumnus Award to Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Barrak (MPA ‘83/PhD ’89) during the annual Board of Visitors student reception. Al-Barrak earned his B.A. in 1980 at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  The next year he moved to Pittsburgh to study at GSPIA.  He completed his MPA in 1983 and his PhD in 1989 with a dissertation titled “The Use of Operations Research Techniques in the Public Sector of Saudi Arabia.” 

Daley (MPA '75) Receives GSPIA Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dean John Keeler presented Edwin Daley (MPA ’75) with GSPIA’s Distinguished Alumnus Award during a recent alumni gathering in Richmond, VA. Dr. Daley held various positions throughout his 40 year career in local government, and represents the heart and soul of a true and dedicated public servant. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 1972. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in 1973 and began working in the public sector for the City of New Castle, Pennsylvania. 

University of Pittsburgh and FBI Research Focuses on Countering Violent Extremism

Research takes many forms, but for student researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), the process took on a whole new meaning when the school partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to develop new knowledge in countering violent extremism. 

GSPIAians Named Presidential Management Finalist

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management recently announced the finalists for the 2016 Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program including GSPIAians: Carrie Hallum (MPA), Katherine Terrell (MPIA) and Allison Varricchio, (MID ‘15). 

Susan and John Marks to Receive Johnson Institute’s 2016 Exemplary Leadership Award

The Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership will honor Susan Collin Marks, Peace Ambassador and John Marks, Founder of the Search for Common Ground at 3:30 pm, Thursday, April 21 at the University Club.

GSPIA Goes to Washington

Students in Professor Charles Skinner's "Foreign Policy and Diplomacy" course traveled to Washington on March 10-11 for meetings with senior officials from the State Department, Senator Richard Lugar (former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), Norwegian Ambassador Kåre Aas, and Dr. Mark Lowenthal (former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production).

Interested in a GSPIA degree? GSPIA will be hosting an information session for prospective students at the Grand Concourse, a convenient 3-minute subway ride from downtown Pittsburgh. Light refreshments will be provided.

This is a great opportunity for local professionals to learn more about GSPIA’s accelerated, one-year Master of Public Policy and Management, now available online or on campus!

The event is also open to students interested in GSPIA’s traditional two-year Master of Public Administration, Master of International Development, or Master of Public and International Affairs degree.

To RSVP, please click here:

Wednesday, May 18
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.
The Grand Concourse Restaurant
100 West Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Johnson Institute: Preparing Leaders One Student at a Time

By Aileen St. Leger

For many years, the City of Pittsburgh was said to be suffering from “brain drain,” the phenomena caused by students receiving a rigorous education from one of Pittsburgh’s prestigious institutions, and then leaving the city in search of better economic opportunities in other regions, explained John Delano on a recent segment of the Sunday Business Page.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260