Smart Power Profiles
The National Security Team
Secretary of State
John Kerry, one of the leading and most well-respected voices on foreign policy and national security, will be a welcome addition to the legacy of Secretaries of State who have endorsed a smart power agenda. During his tenure in the Senate, Senator Kerry has been a leading champion of the International Affairs Budget and a long time friend of the USGLC. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has consistently advocated the positive impact that the International Affairs Budget has in the world, noting that, “Foreign aid is an investment in our national security. It is not a gift to other countries.” It is a very, very small investment that provides an enormous return in so many different ways in terms of advancing the interests of our country, of our citizens.”1 Kerry became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, filling the position previously held by Vice President Biden. He has consistently embraced and articulated a strong vision for America’s role in the world, noting that, “America’s global leadership is a strategic imperative for us.” He has played a leadership role on a range of issues, including most recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, traveling overseas at times at the behest of the Administration. He has been a key ally to President Obama on Capitol Hill, and even served as the President’s debate preparation partner during the 2012 campaign.
Secretary of Defense
A former two-term Republican Senator from Nebraska and decorated Vietnam War veteran, Chuck Hagel has been a strong supporter of the International Affairs Budget throughout his career in public service. As a member of the USGLC’s Advisory Council and Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Hagel has spoken out in favor of the importance of development and diplomacy, noting that, “Engagement is not appeasement. Diplomacy is not appeasement. Great nations engage. Powerful nations must be the adults in world affairs. Anything less will result in disastrous, useless, preventable global conflict.”2 As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Ranking Member on the International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection Subcommittee, Hagel consistently embraced the purpose of foreign assistance to protect American national security interests, arguing that, “Investments in our international affairs programs bolster our national security by allowing us to work with foreign partners to track down terrorists and weapons, to improve the political and economic lives of others, and to help stabilize fragile states.”3
Secretary of the Treasury
Jack Lew has long been a champion of American global engagement and a thoughtful leader on the value of diplomacy and development in our national and economic security. A supporter of the International Affairs Budget throughout his distinguished career, Lew spoke on behalf of the President at a USGLC event last September, saying, “The international affairs account may be only one percent of the budget. But President Obama believes that it’s one of the smartest investments we can make. Investments in the dignity, security and prosperity of our fellow human beings today yield huge dividends for our collective security and prosperity tomorrow. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.””4 Lew has served as President Obama’s Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management, playing a critical role in crafting a strong and effective International Affairs Budget. Prior to the White House, he served as Deputy Secretary of State for Management where he led the process of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which lays out a modernized foreign policy strategy for the State Department and USAID.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Sylvia Mathews Burwell is no stranger to the importance of foreign assistance, and as President Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, she will play a significant role in crafting the International Affairs Budget in the coming years if confirmed. Burwell is a longtime champion of U.S. global engagement and why development and diplomacy are so important to America’s interests in the world. She has often spoken about the value of American global engagement, pointing out in the Huffington Post that, “What most Americans don’t realize is that less than one percent of the federal budget is allocated to development programs. And that these programs now are smarter and better than in the past. As we struggle with budgets and priorities, looking for the right investments becomes even more important.” Coming from the private sector, Burwell brings a wealth of knowledge about ways that the private sector can complement the government in partnering on development. As the President of the Walmart Foundation, she has led the company’s charitable giving efforts and Walmart’s Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, as well as guiding the company’s social, environmental, and economic opportunity efforts in Africa.