Tonight’s the night!

February 2, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

This evening, Bill Gates will help the USGLC honor former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge for their public service and continued advocacy of our smart power tools of development and diplomacy.  Gates is expected to talk about how foreign assistance is one of the best investments the U.S. government can make for our economy to an audience of leaders from the nation’s foreign policy, NGO, and business community.  Make sure to follow @USGLC on Twitter for live tweets from inside tonight’s special event.

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Bill Gates to honor Madeleine Albright (Karin Tanabe, Politico’s Click)

On Wednesday night, Bill Gates will serve as a special guest speaker at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition tribute dinner honoring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. The event will take place at the Ritz Carlton on 22nd Street, and Cokie Roberts will serve as the evening’s emcee.

Lindsey Graham to the rescue for State and USAID (Josh Rogin, The Cable)

There’s one senior Republican who’s willing and able to fight for maintaining the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development budgets: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “To the American taxpayer: We need to be investing in improving people’s lives before the terrorists try to take over,” Graham said. “Stay ahead of them, not with 100,000 troops all the time, but by partnering with people who will live in peace with us.”

Setting goals: An interview with the head of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (Tom Fox, Federal Coach, Washington Post)

Interview with MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes on leadership, overcoming challenges and vision.

Smart Power

How Egypt Changes The Politics of Foreign Aid (Bradford Plumer, The New Republic)

Earlier today, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), who chairs the House appropriations subcommittee that deals with the State Department, said, “While there are calls for eliminating Egypt’s economic and military aid, I urge caution in deciding what the U.S. response will be.” At the very least, Republican proposals to cut State Department funding by one-third suddenly seem like a much tougher sell.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Top House appropriator: U.S. aid to Egypt not stopping any time soon (Josh Rogin, The Cable)

As the Obama administration and the rest of the Washington foreign policy community struggle to come to terms with the unfolding events in Egypt, top White House officials and an increasing number of top lawmakers seem to agree that the U.S. should not suspend military aid to the Egyptian military in the near term.

Top diplomat defends size, cost of State Dept. presence in Iraq (Walter Pincus, Washington Post)

The top U.S. diplomat in Iraq on Tuesday defended the size and cost of the State Department’s operations in that country, telling lawmakers that a significant diplomatic footprint will be necessary after the withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of this year