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Bill Clinton and George W. Bush put together team to oversee Haiti aid fund

By Philip Rucker
Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush announced late Tuesday that they have appointed a six-member board of former Democratic and Republican senior government officials to oversee the humanitarian fund the presidents established in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

Clinton and Bush have tapped Gary Edson, who served as Bush's deputy national security adviser and helped establish the anti-poverty Millennium Challenge Corporation, as chief executive officer of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

Edson will be joined by a board of directors made up of longtime advisers and allies of both presidents.

The presidents said more than 200,000 individuals have donated over $36 million to the fund since President Obama asked them to lead the nation's long-term humanitarian response to the earthquake. The fund has allocated millions to relief groups providing medical care and supplies, mobile clinics, water purification, hygiene kits, education assistance and recovery supplies to quake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Saint Martin and Martissant.

Edson and the board will oversee the fund's strategy and processes, including fundraising and cash disbursements.

"We are pleased to appoint a board of bipartisan, distinguished leaders whose experience in past disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts will ensure the effective operation of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the strategic allocation of its resources to have the greatest impact on the lives of the Haitian people," Clinton said in a statement. "Their service and dedication will help President Bush and me continue to support the people of Haiti as they build back better in the months and years to come."

Bush added: "I am pleased that such a distinguished group of individuals has agreed to serve. I thank them for donating their time and talents to this worthy cause. This group will ensure that our fundraising efforts remain strong, and that the money is spent on successful programs that build a better future for the Haitian people."

The six board members are:

• Laura Graham, a former Clinton administration official and chief operating officer for the William J. Clinton Foundation, who will serve as a Board Co-Chair.
• Joshua Bolten, former White House chief of staff to Bush and currently a visiting professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, who will serve as a Board Co-Chair.
• Bruce Lindsey, a former Clinton administration official and currently chief executive officer of the Clinton Foundation.
• Dr. Bill Frist, former Republican Senate majority leader, a professor at Vanderbilt University, a partner at Cressey & Company in Chicago, and chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands.
• Henrietta Fore, former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development under Bush and chairman and chief executive officer of Holsman International, an investment and management company.
• Alexis Herman, former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration and currently chief executive officer of New Ventures, LLC.

By Philip Rucker  |  March 9, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

A Haitian-Free Rebuilding Plan? (Continued)
Stanley Lucas


Further to my article on how Haitians are largely being excluded from the rebuilding planning (see http://solutionshaiti.blogspot.com/2010/02/haitian-free-rebuilding-plan-by-stanley.html), I read with interest the list of Board members appointed by Presidents Bush and Clinton to manage the $36 million Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
(see http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/bill-clinton-and-george-w-bush.html?wprss=44 ).

What is striking is that of the six-member Board not one Haitian-American was included. There are more than two million Haitians living in the United States currently. Are we to assume that not one of them was qualified to sit on this Board? I personally know a number of highly qualified, PhDs with strong economic development backgrounds who would be an excellent fit for such an initiative. These people have what no one else on this Board has: experience in Haiti.

Separately, there is a growing sense of confusion among the Haitian Diaspora about the various funds that former President Clinton controls. There is the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Clinton Foundation, and his significant official role with the UN as the Special Envoy. The latter role puts him in an oversight role for World Bank, IADB, and other international financial institutions and their programs in Haiti. Further, the US government initiatives are interlinked with the UN efforts as well. USAID states that they are supporting the UN cluster system. The Haitian Diaspora community is seeking some clarity on how all these roles are managed given that some are official and some are NGO/Foundation roles.

Posted by: centurionlucas | March 11, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

A Haitian-Free Rebuilding Plan? (Continued)
Stanley Lucas


Further to my article on how Haitians are largely being excluded from the rebuilding planning (see http://solutionshaiti.blogspot.com/2010/02/haitian-free-rebuilding-plan-by-stanley.html), I read with interest the list of Board members appointed by Presidents Bush and Clinton to manage the $36 million Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
(see http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/bill-clinton-and-george-w-bush.html?wprss=44 ).

What is striking is that of the six-member Board not one Haitian-American was included. There are more than two million Haitians living in the United States currently. Are we to assume that not one of them was qualified to sit on this Board? I personally know a number of highly qualified, PhDs with strong economic development backgrounds who would be an excellent fit for such an initiative. These people have what no one else on this Board has: experience in Haiti.

Separately, there is a growing sense of confusion among the Haitian Diaspora about the various funds that former President Clinton controls. There is the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Clinton Foundation, and his significant official role with the UN as the Special Envoy. The latter role puts him in an oversight role for World Bank, IADB, and other international financial institutions and their programs in Haiti. Further, the US government initiatives are interlinked with the UN efforts as well. USAID states that they are supporting the UN cluster system. The Haitian Diaspora community is seeking some clarity on how all these roles are managed given that some are official and some are NGO/Foundation roles.

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Posted by: naitkonlyyou | March 9, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Presidents keep up the good work.

Posted by: HAITIANAMERICAN | March 9, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding work and both former presidents deserve lots of credit. Well done, George and Bill.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | March 9, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

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