High Hopes for New CIDA Boss

CIDA's surprise choice for its president is hailed as a positive sign

Sarah McGregor
Published: Wednesday, 05/25/2005 12:00 am EDT

About a month ago, researcher Robert Greenhill strode onto Parliament Hill and thrust his new study into the hands of politicians, confirming the creeping suspicions of foreign policy gurus in Ottawa. His survey of prominent outside observers showed Canada's international credentials had suffered serious setbacks in the past 15 years. But that could be reversed, Mr. Greenhill told a Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in mid-April. Canada must hike foreign aid and keep in place the international cooperation minister and senior public servants managing that portfolio for years, not months, said Mr. Greenhill, a then-visiting senior executive with the International Development Research Centre, a federal arm's length research body. Now, it appears someone in Ottawa was listening carefully and Mr. Greenhill might get a chance to act on his recommendations. Yesterday, Mr. Greenhill took up presidency of the Canadian International Development Agency, and is now its highest-ranking public servant. He replaces Paul Thibault, who retired from the public service earlier this month. News of the appointment was slowly winding through the political grapevine late last week, with opposition parties and development experts saying that, at first blush, Mr. Greenhill is an excellent candidate.

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