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The Economic Cooperation Administration
(ECA) was a United States government agency set up in 1948 to administer the Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...
. It reported to both the State Department and the Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903...
. The agency's head was Paul G. Hoffman
Paul Gray Hoffman was an American automobile company executive, statesman and global development aid administrator.Hoffman was born in Western Springs, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago...
, a former head of Studebaker
Studebaker Corporation was a United States wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852 and incorporated in 1868 under the name of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, the company was originally a producer of wagons for farmers, miners, and the...
. Much of the rest of the organization was also headed by major business figures. The ECA had an office in the capital of each of the sixteen countries participating in the Marshall Plan. In theory the ECA served as joint administrator of the Marshall Plan development projects in each European nation. In practice the local officials knew far more about what was needed than the ECA representatives.
It was succeeded by the United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...