On Africa Day, Celebrating U.S.-Africa Partnership and Cooperation
In celebration of Africa Day 2021 and its 58th anniversary, we had the opportunity to interview Ambassador Cindy Courville, who served as the first U.S. Ambassador to the African Union (AU) from 2006 to 2008. Ambassador Courville’s long and illustrious public service career includes decades of experience shaping and transforming U.S. policy in Africa while serving with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and as Ambassador to the AU based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
America’s diplomacy and development tools are on the front lines of the global COVID-19 response—and during today’s hearing on COVID-19 and the international response, both Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed that U.S. global engagement is a critical component of our country’s own health and economic recovery.
Friday, April 30th marks the Biden Administration’s first 100 days in office. While the Administration’s next 100 days are likely to be as critical as the first, here’s a look back at how America’s development and diplomacy tools have been deployed to address many of the complex global challenges affecting the world’s most vulnerable and with impacts to America’s security, prosperity, and safety.
At this week’s Leaders Summit on Climate hosted at the White House, President Joe Biden underscored the need for international cooperation on the climate crisis, stating “No nation can solve this crisis on our own…all of us — and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies — we have to step up.” This consensus was similarly reflected throughout the two-day Summit, as leaders from more than 40 countries alongside U.S. cabinet officials, business leaders, representatives from multilateral organizations, and even Pope Francis, discussed the immense challenge climate change poses and the cooperation needed to confront it.
In early March, the Biden administration released its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance—a framing document released ahead of the National Security Strategy (NSS) that serves as an early signal of U.S. foreign policy priorities in the Biden Administration. By using diplomacy and development to connect the administration’s domestic priorities to America’s foreign policy priorities, the president has clearly signaled the significant role these tools will play over the next four years.
When people think about U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF), they might envision romanticized scenes from television or the movies. But what they don’t see is what goes on behind the scenes. While SOF plays a lead role in defending our country, U.S. national security also relies on the strength and support of our civilian forces—particularly our diplomatic corps and development personnel—in countries around the world.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) convened a bipartisan virtual town hall with Congressman David Price (D-NC) and former Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL), alongside USAID Acting Administrator Gloria Steele. They discussed the bipartisan agenda to strengthen democratic institutions around the world, and how that impacts our democracy here at home.
This week’s kick-off session for USGLC’s inaugural class of Next Gen Global Leaders was a proud moment for our organization. In 2020, we recruited nearly 100 bipartisan, diverse, and talented young leaders from 33 states to join our inaugural class of Next Gen Global Leaders. And this week, at the start of 2021, we welcomed them into the USGLC family as they signed into the Zoom classroom for their first session.
President Biden headed to the State Department in Washington, DC’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood this week to talk about “restoring America’s place in the world” — his first visit to a cabinet agency as president. Since inauguration, the President has focused each day on a policy issue and Executive Orders, and he used this visit to make the case the United States must “earn back our leadership position” in order to “make big things happen” for American families and the world.