November 5, 2008

Center for U.S. Global Engagement Applauds President-Elect’s Support for Greater Investments in Diplomacy and Development

In 2008 Campaign, Both Nominees Embraced “Smart Power” Agenda

Washington, DC – The Center for U.S. Global Engagement released the following statement from Executive Director Liz Schrayer on the results of the 2008 presidential election:

“Sixteen months ago, the Center for U.S. Global Engagement launched our bipartisan Impact ’08: Building a Better, Safer World initiative with over 100 prominent foreign policy and military leaders calling on the presidential candidates ‘to revitalize America’s moral and pragmatic leadership by making greater investments in our diplomatic and development programs.’ During the 2008 election, both Barack Obama and John McCain answered this call, making strong commitments to incorporate into their national security strategies a ‘smart power’ approach that augments a strong defense with new investments in our civilian-led tools of diplomacy and development.

“The Center for U.S. Global Engagement congratulates President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden on their victory. During the campaign, Obama pledged, ‘As President, I will make the case to the American people that [development assistance] can be our best investment in increasing the common security of the entire world.’ We look forward to working with President-elect Obama and his national security and foreign policy teams as they work to reinvigorate America’s leadership in the world with modernized foreign assistance policies implemented by revitalized civilian institutions with the increased resources necessary to meet the 21st century challenges facing our country. Obama’s historic commitments will help ensure America’s national security, economic prosperity and moral leadership for years to come.”

Interested parties can learn more about the commitments from both candidates on the Center’s website. In the coming days, the Center will release profiles of the top members of the incoming Administration’s national security and foreign policy teams as they become known, a list of key Administration positions critical to implementing a “smart power” agenda, and recommendations for the presidential transition team to consider as they shape the next Administration’s strategy on global development and diplomacy.

Center Executive Director Liz Schrayer and other Center spokespeople are available for comment and interviews on these topics:

  • Foreign policy challenges facing the next Administration and the role of non-military tools – such as foreign assistance and diplomacy – in tackling those challenges.
  • Implications of the financial crisis on the International Affairs Budget
  • The prospects for the Bush Administration’s signature foreign assistance programs – such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – and what changes, if any, are expected from the Obama Administration.

Center Spokespeople:

Liz Schrayer serves as the founding Director of the Center for U.S. Global Engagement. She serves as the overall director and strategist for the Center and its sister organization, the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, which has advocated for a strengthened International Affairs Budget for the past 11 years.

Bill Lane
is Co-President of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. He serves as Washington Director for Government Affairs for Caterpillar, representing the company on trade policy and other international affairs.

Nancy Lindborg is Co-President of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and the President of Mercy Corps, an international relief and development organization that operates in challenging, transitional environments around the globe.

Ritu Sharma is Secretary of the Board of the Center for U.S. Global Engagement. A leading voice on international women’s issues, she is the Co-Founder and President of Women Thrive Worldwide.

The Center for U.S. Global Engagement
(, the educational arm of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, unites business, civic, military, faith-based, and political leaders around the country to broaden understanding of America’s interests in building a better, safer world.

Impact ’08: Building a Better, Safer World
is the Center’s national, non-partisan initiative, chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, calling on all of the Presidential candidates to elevate and strengthen America’s investments in global development and diplomacy.