October 10, 2017: J. Steven Dowd was confirmed as the U.S. Director of the African Development Bank for a five-year term by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, October 5, 2017. The African Development Bank is a bank comprised of eighty member nations and the bank is designed to boost economic development in Africa. Dowd, 64, is the co-founder and manager of Ag Source LLC, a transportation, finance and agriculture logistics company based in Lake Mary, Florida. Dowd was previously registered as a Democrat in Seminole County, Fla., from 1990 to Nov. 17, 2016, when he switched to the Republican Party—nine days after the 2016 presidential election. Dowd was previously the chief executive officer of Marcona Ocean Industries, an international shipping and mining company he formed in Longwood in 1995. Dowd received an undergraduate degree in history from Manhattan College in New York City and a graduate degree in foreign service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he was designated as a Georgetown Fellow in Foreign Service. Established in 1964 and currently based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the African Development Bank’s mission is to promote the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs--including agriculture, health, education, public utilities, transportation and telecommunication--that help reduce poverty and sustain economic growth. In 2016, the bank handed out nearly $5 billion, according to a financial report. The eighty member nations include fifty-four countries from the African continent and twenty-fix from Asia, the Middle East, North America, South America and Europe, including the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. donated $34.1 million to the bank, according to a financial report. This year, 2017, the bank is requesting $32.4 million from the United States.