Patel resigned earlier this week after attending meetings with Israeli officials that were not made known to the UK Foreign Office.
Mordaunt joins DfID as the UK’s former secretary of state for work and pensions. She enters the role with experience as an aid worker in Romania in the years after the 1989 revolution while at university.
Owen Barder, director of the Center for Global Development, said that Mordaunt’s appointment has come “at a critical moment” for the UK, which voted to withdraw from the European Union in June 2016. He added that fighting poverty and climate change as well as “tightening up the international tax system” should form the focus of the new leadership.
“The first and most important job for the new secretary of state is to build a shared sense of purpose across government so that all the government’s policies reflect Britain’s national interest in promoting development.”
In November 2016, Patel supported a parliamentary bill to increase the limit to which DfID can fund the UK development finance institution, CDC Group.
Under the current structure, DfID will supply CDC with around £703 million each year for the next five years, giving the UK’s DFI the ability to invest more capital in its target regions of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.