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USAID administrator announces departure amid coronavirus pandemic

USAID administrator announces departure amid coronavirus pandemic
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The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development announced on Monday he would be leaving his post next month to work in the private sector. 

USAID administrator Mark GreenMark GreenEvery military family deserves our gratitude Cheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives USAID deputy leader ousted in staff shakeup amid vote counting MORE's announcement comes as the U.S. and the world deal with a widening coronavirus pandemic that is challenging the U.S. and governments around the world.

“Today, it is with pride, and not a little sadness, that I announce my plans to leave USAID and return to the private sector next month,” Green said in a statement Monday.

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Green, who is a former Republican House member from Wisconsin, held the post for two and a half years and called it an “honor” and “joy.” 

He is expected to become president of Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership, according to reports in the Washington Post and Politico. 

Green's departure comes as the world is working to implement aggressive measures in trying to contain the coronavirus pandemic. A number of countries have closed their borders, and daily life is grinding to a halt in an effort to limit social interactions that contribute to the rapidly spreading virus. 

On March 2, the agency announced it would commit $37 million towards the global response and focus its distribution towards at-risk countries in Central and Eastern Asia and Africa. 

The Trump administration last month proposed cutting over $65 million from the USAID budget as part of its 2021 fiscal year requests. 

The agency has yet to name a successor although the second in command is Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, a former career foreign service officer who completed tours in Africa and Central America and has served in her post since January 2019. 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Israeli military instructed to prepare for Trump strike on Iran: report MORE praised Green on Monday, calling him a “brilliant Administrator,” and highlighted his work responding to global disasters both “natural and man-made.” 

“He has shown American leadership and heart by responding to natural disasters and public health emergencies around the world, such as earthquakes in Mexico, cyclones in Mozambique, Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas, the outbreak of Ebola in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the plague of locusts in East Africa, and now COVID-19,” Pompeo said in a statement.