PSA/USIP Lunch Briefing – The Budget & U.S. Foreign Affairs

NOV 20 – The Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) held a congressional staff only off-the-record, bipartisan lunch discussion on the changing budget and appropriations process over the last four years and how it has impacted the foreign affairs budget. Two formative experts, Jim Dyer and Kate Eltrich, shared their perspective on the current budget environment, the upcoming budget deadlines, and the prospects for future budgeting. This round-table discussion took place under Chatham House rules.

Jim Dyer is a Principal at the Podesta Group. Having served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush as deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs, Dyer oversaw defense, foreign policy, and the appropriations portfolios. Dyer also served as staff director and clerk on the House Committee on Appropriations for more than a decade. As principal committee liaison to the Republican leadership, he was responsible for planning the House legislative agenda. Dyer has also worked in the U.S. Department of State and was a budget consultant to the Secretary of the Navy. He is a member of the U.S. Institute of Peace Chairman’s Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Kate Eltrich is a Senior Advisor at Sixkiller Consulting. Eltrich’s background is steeped in both the U.S. legislative and executive branches of government where most recently she advised Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Directors Peter Orszag and Jack Lew. Prior to joining OMB, she worked on the Senate Appropriations Committee for eight years serving Chairmen Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI). In the Appropriations Committee, Eltrich gained a strong understanding of the foreign affairs budget serving as professional staff on the Foreign Operations Subcommittee. She received her B.A. in Political, Legal and Economic Analysis from Mills College in Oakland, California and is a native of Denver, Colorado.

This was the 10th event in the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – Topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff with opportunities to engage leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.