Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MCC – Chidi Blyden
Millennium Challenge Corporation

Chidi Blyden

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MCC

Leads the MCC in its mission to administer U.S. foreign assistance in the fight against global poverty.

Chidi Blyden is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Most recently, Blyden worked at the Department of Defense, serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs. She also worked at the Department of Defense during the Obama Administration, where she served as a Special Assistant for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and as the Africa Peacekeeping Advisor for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. From 2019 to 2021, she served as a Professional Staff Member in Congress on the House Armed Services Committee and has experience in the non-profit sector, serving as the first Africa Director at the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

Past statements on development, diplomacy, and U.S. global leadership:

On China and Russia’s investment in Africa: “PRC and Russian security investments in Africa are also largely unencumbered by international norms. These investments pose a significant challenge to our own security investments, which must meet rigorous standards in accordance with U.S. values, including democracy, human rights, and internationally accepted legal constructs. Furthermore, PRC and Russian security assistance often prioritizes regime preservation over long-term institutional capacity building, which undermines stability as well as good governance and respect for human rights.” (source)

On Democracy: “To establish flourishing democratic institutions and economic opportunities, people need to feel safe and secure and must have confidence in their governments to create environments that are conducive for governance and development. (source)

On Africa: “We are not interested in working in Africa without African consultation, collaboration, and coordination.  And as such, African voices helping is not a suggestion, but it will actually be a requirement, I think, to shape the world going forward.” (source)

On Women: “The WPS [Women, Peace, and Security] initiative is a longstanding effort of the U.S. government to meet our partners and have them understand what leadership from a different gender perspective means. Putting women at the table was one thing, putting women to lead those problems is another thing. The type of solutions you get when you open up the aperture and you open up the environment to understand things from a different perspective is one that the U.S. wants to lead on, and the WPS initiative and strategy is one of the ways we do that.” (source)

On National Security: “When we think about security, we want to make sure we are not only putting it in the context of defense and military solutions. That being said, we’ve taken a lot of focus on governance, institutional capacity building, and modernization and technology as ways to help promote security and stability across the continent.” (source)

On Youth: “The youth population encompasses a diverse range of stakeholders, such as peacekeepers on and off the battlefield, and future policy-makers and the next generation of young women and boys.  We must ensure that they can play an active role in shaping the countries that they are to inherit.” (source)