Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs

The Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) is responsible for managing the Agency's external affairs and provides central Agency focus and overall coordination for all aspects of legislative and public affairs matters for the Agency. LPA serves as the central point of contact with Congress, the media, interested stakeholders from the international development community, and the American people regarding the Agency’s international development programs and policies.

Among LPA’s principal responsibilities are:

  • Coordinating the Agency’s legislative programs;
  • Securing Congressional appropriations;
  • Providing information to Congress related to legislation;
  • Advising the Administrator and the Agency regarding the status of pending legislation and related concerns of Members of Congress;
  • Directing the Agency’s external communications strategy;
  • Communicating positioning, messaging and branding;
  • Developing outreach and educational programs for key audiences;
  • Leading the Agency’s digital communications strategy;
  • Managing the external and internal Web site;
  • Ensuring appropriate protocol for senior-level and/or diplomatic engagements;
  • Advising the Administrator and senior officials regarding strategic external engagement opportunities; and
  • Producing events and promotional products to generate support for USAID’s mission.

LPA coordinates these Agency outreach and information programs across the various sectors of American society including the media, non-governmental and private voluntary organizations, international development companies, think tanks, universities, the private sector and diaspora communities. In short, LPA serves as the liaison between the Agency and the American people, Congress, the media, and the Agency’s other key constituencies. In exercising this leadership role, LPA works closely with Bureaus and Offices of the Agency as well as its federal advisory committees. The Bureau is divided into the following organizational units.

The Office of the Assistant Administrator (AA/LPA) serves as the Agency’s principal advisor on all aspects of legislative and public affairs relating to USAID policies, programs, and operations, and on the technical and operational matters relating to the mission of the Bureau. AA/LPA is responsible for the strategic positioning of the Agency, especially on Capitol Hill, in the media, and among external stakeholders, with regard to USAID’s role in foreign policy and as the lead Agency providing U.S. economic and humanitarian assistance to foster sustainable international development.

The AA/LPA directs and supervises the Bureau, approving programs and initiatives and approving the appropriate allocation of resources among the Bureau’s priorities and needs. Three Deputy Assistant Administrators (DAAs) for Legislative Affairs (DAA/LPA-LEG); for Public Affairs (DAA/LPA-PA); and for Program Operations (DAA/LPA-PO) assist in directing and supervising the Bureau in addition to providing critical technical liaison and expertise in the areas that they manage. The AA/LPA is also comprised of a Senior Advisor to the AA/LPA, a Secretary to the AA/LPA, a Secretary to the DAAs/LPA, and two Special Assistants. The Press Director, a Department of State official who serves as Press Spokesperson, reports directly to the AA/LPA with day-to-day guidance and oversight provided by the DAA/LPA-PA.

Under LPA’s Legislative Affairs Section, the Office of Legislative Affairs (LPA/LEG) maintains continuous liaison with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and committees to inform them about USAID programs and policies and to obtain their views on issues associated with USAID, which are then communicated to the Agency. As the primary advisor regarding relations with the Congress on programs, policies, and issues, LPA/LEG assists in the development of Bureau strategies with regard to USAID’s legislative objectives – be they related to funding or authorities, and makes recommendations regarding the preparation of materials representing the Agency's position on issues before Congress and congressional meetings and consultation as issues arise. LPA/LEG negotiates USAID legislative issues with Members of Congress, their committees, and staff. LPA/LEG is comprised of three divisions which report to the Office Director of LPA/LEG, namely, the Division of House Affairs, which carries out the preceding functions, with a particular focus on strategic engagement with the House of Representatives; the Division of Senate Affairs, which does so with a particular focus on strategic engagement with the U.S. Senate; and the Legislative Reference Division. The Legislative Reference Division handles the Agency’s Congressional notifications, reports, and correspondence as well as serving as a liaison with the Office of Management and Budget with regard to testimony and legislative reference memoranda. In consultation with the Divisions of House and Senate Affairs, and the Office of Executive Secretariat, the unit manages preparation and tasking of materials related to the Administrator’s Congressional testimony, legislative training, biographical information, Congressional travel, and outreach programming.

LPA’s Public Affairs section is comprised of two offices responsible for positioning the Agency with external audiences and increasing public awareness and understanding of USAID. Together, these offices develop and implement strategies to provide information about the Agency's policies, mission, and programs to the American people, the media, and a variety of stakeholders as well as establish the Agency’s communications policies and procedures.

The Office of Strategic Communications (LPA/SC) is responsible for creating communications campaigns and associated content to promote the Agency’s priorities across various communications platforms. The content and campaigns are used to engage key audiences including Congress, key stakeholders, the media and audiences engaged through the Development Outreach Communicators in Missions overseas. This office is comprised of two divisions.

The Division of Content Strategy (LPA/SC/CS) is responsible for creating, producing and editing content including, but not limited to, web content, stories, videos, fact sheets and infographics to promote Agency priorities. The Division coordinates content from across the Agency and manages USAID’s blog and online newsletter.

The Division of Communications (LPA/SC/C) is responsible for developing and implementing cross-cutting communications campaigns to engage the public. The Division also works closely with Bureau communicators to identify and manage communications opportunities and ensure that the flow of outgoing communications is coordinated. This Division develops and executes rapid response plans for crisis communications. It also manages a development outreach communications team whose functions and mandates are coordinated with overall Agency’s communications strategies.

The Office of Public Engagement (LPA/PE) develops and implements the Agency’s outreach strategies and education programs with specific audiences. This office manages relationships with the NGO community, the broader international development community, private sector coalitions, think tanks, universities and youth and other notable individuals. This office vets the Agency’s speaking engagements and makes recommendations about strategic opportunities for engagement at events, conferences and related to domestic travel and after foreign travel. The Protocol and Special Events (LPA/PE-PSE) Team is housed in LPA/PE and ensures that proper international protocol for diplomatic engagements is executed to the highest standard. The Team is also responsible for the overall strategic implementation of Agency special events and ceremonies. The Office of Public Engagement manages the Agency’s official speakers’ bureau and public information requests.

LPA’s Program Operations Section includes three offices, which together cover the management (budget and procurement, administrative support, human resources) functions of the bureau, website management, branding, and engagement with partners around potential business opportunities. The DAA/LPA-PO serves as the Agency’s branding champion.

Office of Program and Management Operations (LPA/PMO): LPA’s Office of Program and Management Operations provides guidance, advice and administrative support to LPA in the areas of management (budget and procurement), human resources and administration, developing and interpreting relevant policies and regulations for the Bureau in each of these areas.

Specifically, LPA/PMO serves as the principal advisor to LPA’s leadership, managers and staff in the areas of Budget Planning and Execution, Procurement, and Management Advisory and Administrative Management Support Services.

Budget: LPA/PMO ensures that OYB allocations are consistent with the Bureau’s budget and adjusted throughout the year to ensure maximum opportunity for carrying out Agency priorities and initiatives, takes appropriate action to ensure funds are available for implementation of the priorities and initiatives, staff travel and training.

The Office of Web site Management (LPA/WM) provides management and oversight for the Agency’s internal and external Web sites. The Office of Web site Management (WM) is responsible for optimizing web functionality and usability, producing web analytics and making recommendations for improving content, and ensuring that web infrastructure is properly organized and maintained in a timely manner. The Office of Web site Management works closely with the Office of Strategic Communications to manage content on the Web site. The Office of Website Management also manages and directs the Agency’s internal Web site.

The USAID OPEN Team (LPA/OPEN) ensures that the Agency is more accessible, responsive and easier to work with as a partner. The Team facilitates timely responses to inquiries from potential partner organizations, provides a customer-friendly "front door" to the Agency to help partner organizations more easily engage the Agency and navigate to the right points of contact, and ensures accountability in the Agency’s interactions with potential partners.

Portrait of Sean E. Callahan
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Program Operations
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Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator of Public Affairs
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Acting Press Director and Spokesperson