Wagner: To succeed as Secretary, Pompeo must strategically use foreign aid

March 23, 2018

When President Donald Trump nominated Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, most of the attention was focused on Pompeo's tough talk on global hotspots like North Korea and Iran.

But writing in The Hill, Penn GSE's Dan Wagner says that to succeed as secretary, Pompeo will have to make smarter use of foreign aid, with a focus on education among the world's poorest people.

Daniel A. Wagner, Penn GSE
Dr. Dan Wagner

"High-profile flashpoints are occurring alongside ongoing and unprecedented challenges that are coming to define the 21st century: climate change, civil conflict, and mass migration," Wagner writes.

"Military might cannot solve these unfolding megatrends because there is no single enemy to be defeated. Instead, people and societies will need to cope and adapt to our changing world through learning and education. This requires changing how we think about our global investment in improving learning across the lifespan.

"In his new job, Pompeo has the opportunity to reset and improve how the U.S. uses its foreign aid, and fix mistakes that we’ve been making for decades while working in the developing world."

Wagner is the director of Penn GSE's International Educational Development Program, which prepares students for the challenges of creating educational opportunities in the developing world. He is a special advisor to UNESCO.

Read Wagner's full piece here.