August 28, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. Senator Todd Young was joined by John Ellenberger of Land O’ Lakes, Ambassador Lee Feinstein of Indiana University, and more than 300 local leaders from across the state for a bipartisan discussion on the importance of American diplomacy and development for our national security and Indiana’s economy.
“The world looks to the United States for leadership,” said Senator Todd Young. “With our security and economy tied to events overseas, we need to strengthen every tool of American leadership. That means investing in diplomacy and development, alongside defense. Our nation’s diplomats and aid workers are often overlooked – but they are the incredibly effective partners our military needs to advance American interests abroad.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s event, which could not have come at a more critical time for Indiana given recent proposals to cut funding to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by a third.
“It’s not always easy to see the value of international assistance, especially when there is so much that needs to be done at home,” said Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Dean of the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. “But when American diplomats and development workers help to prevent conflict and spur economic growth in developing nations, they are not only doing the right thing, they are advancing our country’s goals, interests and values.”
Over 812,000 Indiana jobs are tied to international trade and exports to foreign markets total more than $34.7 billion a year – making U.S. international engagement a strategic economic issue for the state.
“Those of us in the private sector have long understood the value of building new markets for American goods,” said John Ellenberger, Senior Vice President of Land O’Lakes. “That’s why Land O’Lakes, Inc. believes in and supports the work of Land O’Lakes International Development. This nonprofit is partnering with the U.S. government to increase food security in developing countries across the world. In the short-term, this work changes lives for the better, and in the long run, it helps these countries become new trading partners for the United States.”
Also speaking at today’s event were former Congressman Lee Hamilton, Jim Morris, Vice Chairman of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, and Jeff Cardwell, the former Chair of the Republican Party of Indiana.
“From driving America’s response to the catastrophic famine crises to building new bipartisan support in Congress for strong and effective development programs, Senator Young reminded us today why he is a foreign policy rock star in the making,” said Liz Schrayer, President and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.