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M. Alan Woods; International Development Chief

June 30, 1989|From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — M. Alan Woods, administrator of the Agency for International Development in the Reagan and Bush administrations and a strong advocate of linking U.S. assistance to economic reform, died Thursday after a yearlong struggle with cancer.

Woods, 43, was a strong proponent of free market economics who served in the U.S. trade representative's office before taking over the helm at the Agency for International Development in November, 1987. He was one of the few holdovers from the Reagan Administration to continue a sub-Cabinet job under President Bush.

The Agency for International Development oversees most non-military U.S. foreign aid.

In one of his last speeches, Woods on May 12 argued for concentrating U.S. assistance on what he called "sustainable development." Instead of being given away, Woods said, aid should be a temporary bridge to private support and "self-sustained growth."

In the trade post, which Woods held from 1985 to 1987, he was the Reagan Administration's chief strategist in dealing with Congress on trade legislation and the lead negotiator with Canada on lumber and also on U.S. market access to Portugal and Spain.

Then at the Agency for International Development, Woods promoted market-oriented economic policies, believing that they and open trade held the key to progress in developed and undeveloped countries alike.

In the Nixon Administration, Woods was the deputy director of the office of presidential personnel and later become assistant press secretary. In the Ford Administration he was a Pentagon spokesman and an adviser on the budget.

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