A picture of Representative Nita M. Lowey
Nita L.
Democrat NY 17

About Rep. Nita
  • Honoring Barbara A. Bennett on Her Retirement from Federal Service After 45 Years

    by Representative Nita M. Lowey

    Posted on 2016-01-12

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    LOWEY of new york in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a tireless civil servant and a true American patriot, Ms. Barbara A. Bennett of Virginia.

    Barbara retired on December 31, 2015, after 45 years of Federal service. Most recently, Barbara served as Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Those of us who had the opportunity to work with her during her long career witnessed first-hand Barbara's vast knowledge of foreign affairs and international development, her understanding of the detailed legislative processes, her unparalleled passion for the institution of Congress, and her singular dedication to the mission of USAID in uplifting those around the world from extreme poverty.

    Arriving at USAID as a recent graduate of the College of Mary Washington in the fall of 1970, Barbara steadily rose through the ranks during her first 15 years at USAID while working on procurement, financial management, and management support in the Office of the Deputy Administrator.

    In 1985, Barbara came to Capitol Hill to work for my former colleague David Obey (D-WI) during his tenure as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations. In 1988, Barbara returned to USAID and joined the Bureau for Legislative Affairs, where she served for 27 years prior to her retirement as Office Director.

    Barbara has left an indelible impression on both the programmatic and management realms of USAID as well as the broader foreign affairs interagency collaborative process. Barbara's hard work is evident in the Agency's adoption of innovative approaches to development financing, increased global health investments, efforts to combat international tuberculosis, implementation of the President's Malaria Initiative, and the establishment of an HIV/AIDS Working Capital Fund. These are just some of the higher-profile issues to which Ms. Bennett contributed considerable experience and expertise.

    Barbara's efforts have not only benefited recipients of USAID's investments abroad, but generations of our Nation's international development leaders have profited from her guidance and mentorship.

    I urge my colleagues to join me in commending Barbara for her service as she pursues new opportunities in this new year.


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