Working for a Global Washington

July 13, 2010 By Matthew Michaelree

Global WashingtonToday I’m traveling to the state of Washington, where I will be meeting with state legislators about the impact of the International Affairs Budget on their state and to continue to build the USGLC’s statewide networks.

Washington is heavily invested in international development, and its residents stand out for their formidable commitment to development efforts abroad. Just last week local USGLC partner Global Washington, a Seattle-based alliance of NGOs, businesses, academics, and foundations who together highlight the role of the development sector in their state, released its report, “Global Development through Trade, Aid, Education, and Partnerships: Recommendations from Global Washington.”

With America’s highest proportion of Peace Corp volunteers and over 4,000 annual volunteers at the state’s development NGOs, Washingtonians are exceptionally passionate about development. Global Washington’s findings show that the state has more than 200 nonprofits working in development that provide over 3,000 jobs, and that the assistance provided by these nonprofits reaches 144 different countries on 5 continents.

Moreover, development plays a major role in supporting the state’s economy. Washington is more reliant on exports for economic growth than any other state in the country, and economic development projects abroad play a fundamental role in opening up new markets for export goods. Global Washington’s report shows that even within Washington’s private sector, international development is vital. As example, global health products and services comprise a $4 billion sector that translates to $143 million in annual tax revenue. This new evidence complements USGLC’s own summary of the impact of development on Washington and will help highlight the importance of the International Affairs Budget with Washingtonians I meet during my time out West.

Matthew Michaelree is the USGLC’s Deputy Field Director