USAID deputy leader ousted in staff shakeup amid vote counting
The second-highest ranking leader of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was ousted Friday night in an effort to continue the leadership of the acting administrator whose tenure expired at midnight.
USAID said in a statement Friday night that today was Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick’s last day and her position would be filled by John Barsa, the current acting administrator of the agency, whose tenure expires at midnight under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
Barsa, who was confirmed by the Senate as administrator for USAID’s Latin America and Carribbean bureau, assumed the acting administrator position in April following the departure in March of USAID administrator Mark Green.
Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Barsa’s term was expected to end as of midnight on November 6, approximately 210 days from the time the administrator’s position became vacant.
Glick, as deputy administrator, was expected to assume leadership of USAID with Barsa’s termination. Yet the Friday night shake-up removed Glick as deputy administrator and inserted Barsa into the acting deputy role, and likely to allow him to lead the agency for an additional 210 days.
USAID’s ethics attorney Jack Ohlweiler had earlier warned Barsa in an email that his term as acting administrator was ending at midnight as of November 6 and the leadership of the agency would fall to Glick, according to a report by DEVEX.
While USAID did not provide a reason for Glick’s departure in their statement, DEVEX reported that the veteran global development official was forced out, receiving an email from the Director of the White House Presidential Personnel OFfice John McEntee that she was terminated.
“Pursuant to the direction of the President, your appointment as Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development is hereby terminated, effective immediately,” the note said, according to DEVEX.
Glick’s biography page on USAID’s site was down as of Friday evening with a note that said it was last updated on November 6.
The USAID statement on Glick’s departure praised the deputy administrator as “a tremendous champion” in her work at the agency leading the Agency’s Digital Strategy.
“The entire USIAD family owes Bonnie a debt of gratitude for her leadership and her accomplishments and wishes her well in all of her future endeavors,” the statement read.
The staff shakeup at the State Department’s lead agency for international development comes amid the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and as the nation, and the world, anxiously await the conclusion of the presidential election.