WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development recently held its third annual conference to provide small business leaders an opportunity to hear about how they can participate in development assistance programs. USAID's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) arranged the May 27 meeting around the theme, "USAID and Small businesses: Expanding the Diversity of our Partners."
"USAID is committed to the inclusion of small businesses as partners in our work," Chief of Staff Sean Carroll stated as he welcomed the more than 200 attendees to the all-day event. He added that the agency is committed to changing its business model, and small businesses will play an important role in the new procurement reform strategy.
Other key speakers included Small Business Association Associate Administrator Joseph G. Jordan, USAID OSDBU Director Mauricio Vera, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Senior Procurement Executive, Greg Williams. The conference also included several panels: USAID Hot Topics featured Ambassador William Garvelink on Food Security, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Gloria Steele on the Global Health Initiative, and Team Director William Breed on Global Climate Change. Another panel on "USAID Procurement Reform and the Board for Acquisition and Assistance Reform" featured Senior Procurement Executive Maureen Shauket and Acting Chief Operating Officer Ken Lanza. Haiti Task Team Coordinator Paul Weisenfeld provided an update on the agency's Haiti Earthquake Relief response and discussed upcoming plans for the reconstruction phase. Lastly, a panel of large and small business representatives discussed their "success stories" on how they were effective in obtaining USAID prime and subcontracts.
The highlight of the conference was the "Lunch with the Leaders" segment which provided an opportunity for the small business representatives to meet informally with senior representatives from all of the major USAID bureaus and independent offices.
For more information about USAID, visit www.usaid.gov.
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development