October 26, 2007
Associated Press Newswires

The Senate has approved former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's nomination to the board of an international aid program that seeks to encourage democracy and openness in poor countries, a spokesman said Friday.

Frist, a Tennessee Republican who did not seek re-election last year, was nominated by President Geroge W. Bush to replace former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman on the board of the Millennium Challenge Corp.

Bush in 2002 announced the creation of the Millennium Challenge account to distribute foreign aid to poor countries committed to tackling corruption and to dedicate themselves to certain economic policies and human rights.

The idea was that little good comes from pouring aid into a country that has corrupt or unstable leadership. The program was formally launched in 2004.

Frist, a medical doctor, oversaw a significant increase in funding for AIDS research and treatment programs when he was in the Senate.

Frist, 55, abandoned a widely expected presidential bid last year, and is now focusing on global health issues. He has signed on to teach at Princeton University and is heading up a Save the Children campaign to lower childhood mortality around the world.

Up to four private-sector appointments can be made to the Millennium Challenge board, but Bush so far has only filled two.

The other members of the board are the corporation's chief executive officer, the secretary of state, the secretary of the treasury, the U.S. trade representative and the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.