(New York Times) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Patricia Harris, his first deputy mayor, as chairwoman and chief executive of his $1.75 billion charity.  Ms. Harris will not be paid for her leadership work with the charity.  Mr. Bloomberg’s appointment has sparked significant controversy mostly because of concerns of conflict of interest.  Pablo Eisenberg, a Georgetown University senior fellow at the Center for Nonprofit Government and Leadership said, “It shows poor judgment on the mayor’s part.  You have hundreds and hundreds of potential appointees; why pick her?”  The meshing of public and private work has left many critics wary of Mr. Bloomberg’s choice.  Ms. Harris’s work for the charity will most likely take up much of her time, limiting her ability to effectively manage her work for the city of New York.  Jason Post, spokesperson for Mr. Bloomberg, insists that Ms. Harris’s work will not cause a problem with her duties for the city:  “Patti manages the mayor’s personal philanthropy in her personal time and has for years.”  Mr. Post continued, “Nothing in today’s announcement changes that.”

(New York Times) Wednesday’s United Nations meeting regarding the reconstruction of Haiti left many skeptical.  The United States is one of the biggest donors in relief efforts; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed a pledge of $1.15 billion in addition to the $900 million already given.  Other smaller countries such as Mali, which pledged $200,000 and Montenegro, which pledged $10,000, are hoping to help Haiti after the disastrous earthquake.  However, many Haitians are unsure of the outcome, citing the millions of dollars promised for hurricane relief over the years that never fully materialized.  The need for aid in Haiti is especially urgent because the hurricane season is rapidly approaching, and Haitians are without proper shelter.  Former president Bill Clinton and Haitian prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive are leading the commission for the aid money, which shall be distributed through a multinational fund lead by the World Bank.

(USAID)  The United States Agency for International development officially appointed Norma Parker as the new Mission Director for Nicaragua.  She will manage a number of programs that aim to foster educational and economical growth as well as healthcare for the people of Nicaragua.

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