Bonnie Glick, the deputy administrator of the agency, received a note from the White House on Friday afternoon telling her that she needed to resign by 5 p.m. or she would be terminated without cause at the pleasure of the President, the sources said. One of the sources said the note included a termination letter signed by Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office John McEntee.
Glick did not consider resigning, that source said.
Her removal from the post comes the same day that John Barsa’s term as acting administrator of the agency expires under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, and sources believe that she was fired so he could remain at the helm. Under the law, Barsa could serve as acting administrator only for 210 days after the post became vacant if no permanent replacement were nominated. Those 210 days expire Friday at midnight. However, with Glick gone, Barsa can take over the second-in-command job in an acting capacity.
Another source at USAID told CNN they also suspected this could be the case. However, nothing has been communicated to agency personnel about these changes, or who will be at the helm of the agency next week.
Barsa is not well-liked by career officials, the source at USAID said, and people found it odd that he was named acting administrator because they had worked much more closely with Glick, who was confirmed by the Senate to the deputy administrator role in January 2019.
Another senior figure in the international aid community spoke highly of Glick, saying, “People in the community have the highest respect for her” and that she “brought real thought leadership to the agency.”
This person and the sources familiar expressed concern that her absence would be felt if there is a transition from a Trump to a Biden presidency.
“Should there be a transition, she will be missed and it will be a loss for USAID,” the senior figure said.
CNN has reached out to USAID and the White House for comment.