Andrew Natsios at Bush School of Government
|Chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority|
April 2000–March 2001
|Preceded by||James Kerasiotes|
|Succeeded by||David P. Forsberg|
|Secretary of Administration and Finance|
|Preceded by||Frederick A. Laskey|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Crosby|
|Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party|
|Preceded by||Gordon M. Nelson|
|Succeeded by||Ray Shamie|
Andrew S. Natsios (born September 22, 1949) is an American public servant of Greek origin who has served in a number of Massachusetts and high level federal government positions. Most notably, he has served as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, and Vice President of World Vision. Currently, Natsios teaches as Executive Professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Born in Philadelphia, to Vasilios and Eta Natsios, Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Georgetown University and his Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Natsios served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975 to 1987, focusing on public finance and municipal government. During this time, he co-authored Proposition 2½ (a property tax cutting law) and State Zoning Law Chapter 808. He was also chairman of the Town of Holliston By-Law Study Committee, Treasurer for the Industrial Development Commission, and Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee for seven years. In 1986, Natsios introduced legislation to repeal the Massachusetts Teachers' Oath, a product of the 1930s that remained law in the Commonwealth even after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court invalidated the law in 1967. The legislation passed without opposition.
A 23-year veteran of the United States Army Reserve, Natsios was commissioned Second Lieutenant at Georgetown University (ROTC) in 1971. He served in the First Gulf War in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait City and retired in 1995 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He directed the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID from 1989 to 1991 and served as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance (now the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance) from 1991 to January 1993.
From 1993 to 1998, Natsios served as Vice President of World Vision U.S.
From March 1999 to April 2000, he served as Secretary for Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2001, Natsios took over as Chairman and CEO of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and CEO of Boston's Central Artery Project (the Big Dig) after a cost overrun scandal.
In May 2001, Natsios was sworn in as the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). While serving as Administrator, he also served as Special Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator for Sudan and U.S. Government Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance. He resigned from USAID on January 14, 2006. President Bush appointed him Special Envoy for Darfur in 2006. He retired as special envoy in 2007 when Rich Williamson was appointed as the new special envoy to Sudan
In an April 2003 interview with Ted Koppel, Natsios suggested that the total cost of rebuilding Iraq would not exceed $1.7 billion to U.S. taxpayers. Actual figures have proven to be considerably higher.
From 2006 to 2012, Natsios taught as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and served as an Advisor on International Development at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Currently, Natsios teaches courses on international development and famine theory at Texas A&M's George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Currently, Natsios serves as Co-Chairman for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Order of St. Andrew. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Management and Training Corporation and on the Advisory Board for FOCUS North America (domestic Eastern Orthodox Christian charities consortium) and the Institute for Global Engagement. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy.
Awards and accolades
Andrew Natsios was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alpha Omega Council of New England (Greek-American service organization) in 2012 as well as by the Society for International Development in 2011. He also received honorary doctorates from Marquette University in 2008 and from Georgetown University in 2002.
Andrew Natsios has authored numerous articles on foreign policy and humanitarian emergencies, as well as three books: Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012), The Great North Korean Famine (U.S. Institute for Peace, 2001), and U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1997).
Natsios has also contributed to thirteen books, written over 40 articles for publications such as Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and is currently contributing to a World Report blog by U.S. News and World Report.
A native of Holliston, Massachusetts, Natsios and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children: Emily, Alexander, and Philip.
Controversy and Criticisms
As the chief of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Andrew Natsios, gave this justification to the US Congress for why the agency opposed giving antiretroviral therapy (ART) to Africans with HIV in 2001:
“If we had [HIV medicines for Africa] today, we could not distribute them. We could not administer the program because we do not have the doctors, we do not have the roads, we do not have the cold chain…[Africans] do not know what watches and clocks are. They do not use western means for telling time. They use the sun. These drugs have to be administered during a certain sequence of time during the day and when you say take it at 10:00, people will say what do you mean by 10:00?”
This stance was roundly repudiated, with some, including the June 16, 2001 Washington Post editorial calling for his resignation. He would later indicate in interviews that he relented on his stance (presumably reluctantly) primarily due to the public pressure his comments elicited.
- Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A
- "Top U.S. Foreign Aid Official Steps Down: NPR". Retrieved 2006-09-19.
- "President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly:White House Archive". 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2006-09-19.
- "Rep. Frank R. Wolf (VA) on Sudan". n.d. Archived from the original on 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- "USAID: Assistance for Iraq - Nightline: Project Iraq, April 23, 2003". fas.org. April 29, 2003. Retrieved April 29, 2003. Cite error: Invalid
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- "The Board of Directors". The U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "On AIDS: Three Lessons from Africa".
- "USAID Administrator Natsios Press Remarks on HIV/AIDS in Africa".
- "USA: AID Chief Displays Racism, Ignorance".
- "In fact and fiction, US officials play games with AIDS in Africa".
- "In America; Refusing to Save Africans".
- "USAID Director Andrew Natsios' Views on AIDS in Africa 'Incorrect,' Op-Ed Says, Calls for Resignation".
- "Adherence to HAART: Africans Take Medicines More Faithfully than North Americans".
- "HIV/AIDS and Development: The US Response - An Interview with USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios" (PDF).