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


The New GSPIA Partnership with IE University in Madrid, Spain

GSPIA’s  newest partnership offering students the opportunity to study abroad for a semester is with the School of International Relations (SIR) at IE University in Madrid, an affiliate member of APSIA (the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs).  Prof. Kevin Morrison took the lead in arranging this partnership, has visited the campus several times and knows a good number of the faculty there.  Dean John Keeler visited the university October 19-20 to meet with Dr. Arantza de Areilza, Dean of SIR, Dr. Daniel Kselman, Academic Director of the Master in International Relations program, and to give a presentation at a conference on “Shaping Global Citizens.”  One student from Madrid is visiting GSPIA this term and GSPIA students interested in studying in Madrid are encouraged to request information from our Student Services Office.  IE University offers a unique opportunity for GSPIAns to take courses on international relations in English in the heart of one of Europe’s most vibrant capital cities. 

GSPIA ‘4 Under 40’ – Alumni Award Winners Offer Words of Wisdom to Incoming Students

On Friday, Sept. 18, GSPIA Dean John T.S. Keeler welcomed GSPIA’s incoming class and recognized the accomplishments of alumni during a reception held at the Peterson Events Center.

The Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership announces the 2016 Exemplary Leadership Award event. Susan Collin Marks, Peace Ambassador and John Marks, Founder and Former President of Search for Common Ground are the event’s honorees. The event will take place on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in Ballroom B of the University Club, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Johnson Institute Paper Receives Honorable Mention at ARNOVA Conference

The Johnson Institute is pleased to announce that a team of GSPIA faculty, staff and alumni recently received an honorable mention for best paper at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action Conference.  Director Kevin Kearns, Institute Administrator Lydia McShane, and alumni David Bell (PhD) and Bobbi Deem (MPA) conducted intensive interviews with CEOs and board chairs for their exploratory study, How Nonprofit Leaders Evaluate Funding Sources: An Exploratory Study of Nonprofit Leaders. To read the paper, click here.

Michael Kenney to Appear on KD-PG Sunday Edition

Terrorism Expert and Associate Professor Michael Kenney will appear on the KD-PG Edition (CBS Pittsburgh) with Stacy Smith at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 22.  Dr. Kenney will discuss the most recent ISIS terror attacks in Paris and implications for U.S. policy.

Gamper-Rabindran participates in the UK-US joint workshop on unconventional hydrocarbon

Associate Professor Shanti Gamper-Rabindran participated in the joint UK-US workshop on unconventional hydrocarbons, along with prominent scientists and social scientists from across the US and the UK, on November 4-6, 2016. The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the UK National Environmental Research Council. The product of the workshop will be a report authored by Richard Davies, from Newcastle University, and Danny Reible, from Texas Tech, with input from the workshop participants. Gamper-Rabindran, who works on risk management in the industrial sector, noted the workshop was immensely helpful in learning about the latest knowledge from social scientists and scientists on the challenges and potential solutions in managing risks in the shale industry, as well as understanding the values expressed by members of the public in their support for or in their opposition to the shale industry. Prof. Radisav Vidic from the Swanson School of Engineering also participated in this workshop.  

Nuno Themudo Wins ARPA Best Article Award

Associate Professor Nuno Themudo has won The American Review of Public Administration Best Article Award (ARPS) for his article, “Government Size, Nonprofit Sector Strength, and Corruption: A Cross-National Examination.”  ARPS is one of the top-5 journals in public administration. In selecting Dr. Themudo’s paper, the editorial board commented: 

The Center for Disaster Management will host former FEMA Administrator David Paulison at 10:00 a.m., Wed., Nov. 18 in Posvar Hall, room 3431. A light breakfast will be served. Please RSVP,

New England Pitt Alumni Reception to Feature GSPIA Dean John T.S. Keeler

The Pitt Alumni Association cordially invites all Pitt alumni to partake in a reception and engaging academic presentation by Dr. John T.S. Keeler, at the Cumberland Club on Tuesday, November 17. This event is free to attend and all guests are welcomed! Hors d'ouevres and refreshments will be served. To RSVP by Nov. 16, click here. For more information, contact Gordon Fraser at

The Pitt Alumni Association cordially invites all Pitt alumni to partake in a reception and engaging academic presentation by Dr. John T.S. Keeler, at the Cumberland Club on Tuesday, November 17. This event is free to attend and all guests are welcomed! Hors d'ouevres and refreshments will be served. To RSVP by Nov. 16, click here. For more information, contact Gordon Fraser at

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