On Monday, May 6th the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs awarded the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition with its 2013 Public Leadership Award for Responsible U.S. Global Engagement. Given for “promoting the common good in a diverse world”, the USGLC is proud to join previous recipients of the Public Leadership Award like Walter Mondale, Bill Richardson, and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
We are equally proud to have been surrounded by such good company at the Public Leadership Awards dinner. It seems that support for a robust International Affairs Budget has netted us friends in every state we visit, and Minnesota was no different. On Monday, many Minnesotans were alongside us including former Senator Norm Coleman, Vice President Mondale, and Minnesota-based corporations Cargill and Land O’Lakes.
Receiving an award recognizing our ability to build bridges while surrounded by such a varied group of business leaders and policy makers speaks to the truly bipartisan nature of U.S. global engagement. In these hyper-partisan times, it’s truly remarkable that so many people from so many different industries, political backgrounds, ideologies and locations have agreed that America must be an engaged leader in the world today. As our Chairman, Dan Glickman, said on Monday, “believe it or not, this is actually one issue Democrats and Republicans do come together on. They see the challenges and threats our country faces across the globe. Whether it’s terrorism, extremism, hunger, poverty, or instability, what happens in one country affects us here at home.”
Those aren’t just talking points either. Leaders in all sectors agree American leadership is critical, not only to the safety of the nation, but to the success of our economy. Chris Policinski, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, took the stage to lend a more personal example of the importance of American leadership on Monday night. “In this interconnected global society, our collective future is increasingly tied to the health and stability of local economies all over the world. Food shortages, like any other resource shortage, can cause, exacerbate or prolong conflict and unrest around the globe.”
Indeed our increasingly interconnected world leads to increasingly interconnected challenges and opportunities. While we here at the USGLC are honored and humbled by the Humphrey School’s generous award, there is still much to do. The United States must continue its commitment to global leadership, and we will continue our commitment to educate Americans, and especially our leaders in Washington, about how important our tools of development and diplomacy are to our national security, our economy, and in demonstrating the best of who we are as a country.