Global Impact Blog

As Secretary Tillerson and the Foreign and Civil Service Officers he leads around the world face unprecedented challenges—including the largest number of refugees since World War II, four famines affecting more than 20 million, and the risk of another global pandemic—he should consider building on the success of his predecessors, who recognized the new challenges our country faces, rather than ignoring their contributions.

After sailing through his nomination hearing with strong bipartisan support, senators on the Foreign Relations Committee and other development leaders have called for a speedy confirmation for Ambassador Mark Green as the 18th Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development. While he will face a host of other challenges— including the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, and a budget proposal that seeks drastic cuts to USAID— he remains hopeful about the opportunities and improvements that have been made at the agency.

Last week, the chorus of voices in support of America’s diplomacy and development programs reverberated across Capitol Hill as Cabinet officials testified on the Administration’s proposal to cut the International Affairs Budget by a draconian and disproportionate 32%.

Against the backdrop of today’s debate about America’s role in the world, it is striking to re-read the speech by Secretary of State George C. Marshall announcing the Marshall Plan on the 70th anniversary of its delivery. The Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild the economies of Western Europe after World War II, is often seen as the model for American global leadership. Secretary Marshall makes not a selfless appeal to support a new global order, but a calculated appeal to Americans’ self-interest, accompanied by a sophisticated series of short films to explain its benefits.

As the debate over funding for the International Affairs Budget continues – most recently with the release of the Administration’s FY18 budget request, which calls for a deep and disproportionate 32% cut to the State Department and USAID – there remains a growing chorus of bipartisan voices speaking out in support of strategic investments in development and diplomacy. In addition to military, business, and faith leaders from around the country, some of our nation’s most venerated foreign policy minds are making their voices heard on the critical need for a fully funded International Affairs Budget.

As we consider all the ways in which we rely on Earth’s oceans this World Oceans Day, its theme, Our Ocean, Our Future, is particularly timely for the growing environmental, social, and economic impacts of illegal fishing. But if you’re wondering how you can help combat this global issue, Paul G. Allen, founder of Vulcan Inc., has a simple suggestion: “Make informed choices about the seafood we buy: what type, where it’s from, and how it was caught.”

Only two years ago, Aizel Quisano was one of thousands of young people in the Mindanao region of the Philippines who were both out of school and unemployed. A future in her hometown of Lamitan City looked bleak. She was desperate for work and even considered leaving her family to seek employment in Cavite, a city 850 miles to the north, near Manila. But now, those days are behind her. New life skills and a new job at an organic farm in Lamitan City are enriching both her life and her community.

Last week, the Administration released its full FY18 budget request, which includes a 32 percent cut to the International Affairs Budget and signals the potential elimination of U.S. assistance to 37 nations. China, on the other hand, recently held a summit to launch a multibillion dollar global infrastructure and development initiative spanning 65 countries that account for 60 percent of the world’s population. One Belt One Road is President Xi Xinping’s ambitious effort to re-assert China’s global economic leadership. China seeks to revive the historic “Silk Road” trading route— spanning from the Netherlands to Indonesia— which helped facilitate international trade for centuries.

Geofrey was able to save baby Praise thanks to a program made possible by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and partners like Johnson & Johnson and Save the Children. As we give thanks to our own mothers this Mother’s Day, let’s also thank Johnson & Johnson and Save the Children for all they are doing to ensure that more women have a chance to become mothers, and more children are born healthy and happy.

Reintegration will be a long, complex process. U.S. support is vital to aiding Colombia’s efforts to successfully reintegrate former combatants— and strategic to our own national security interests. Colombia is Latin America’s fastest growing economy, a major trading partner, and the leading U.S. ally in South America.

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