May 13, 2008

Florida Civic Leaders Challenge Presidential Candidates to Strengthen U.S. Global Leadership

Over 100 Prominent Floridians Join National Effort to Encourage Greater U.S. Engagement in World

Washington, DC — The Center for U.S. Global Engagement today announced the Florida Advisory Committee for its Impact ’08: Building a Better, Safer World initiative to encourage the 2008 presidential candidates to incorporate greater investments in global development and diplomacy as critical tools in America’s engagement with the world. The Florida Advisory Committee has more than 100 members, including twelve Members of Congress, Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, Florida Senate Democratic Whip Dave Aronberg, City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, former head of U.S. Southern Command General James T. Hill, and a wide range of business, community, and faith leaders.

Working with these leaders, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami, the Center will officially launch the Impact ’08 in Florida effort on May 20, 2008 with a luncheon and foreign policy discussion at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami featuring former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral James Loy, and Robert Mallett, Pfizer Inc’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Public Affairs and Policy and President of the Pfizer Foundation. The discussion will be moderated by Miami Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal.

“We are very excited to bring Impact ’08: Building a Better, Safer World to Florida,” said Liz Schrayer, Executive Director of the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, “and to work with this distinguished group of Floridians who recognize the next president must strengthen our non-military tools of foreign policy to ensure America’s national and economic security and restore our standing in the world.”

Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barry Johnson said it was fitting to launch this initiative in Miami. “Because Miami is a major center for global commerce, international business is a main street issue here, so we are fully focused on the role America plays across the globe,” Johnson explained.
Al Cardenas, a Senior Partner with Tew Cardenas LLP, emphasized the bipartisan nature of the effort. “Republicans and Democrats agree that the next president will face the great challenge of using all of our
country’s foreign policy tools – particularly diplomacy and development – to improve its relationship with the rest of the world,” Cardenas said.

“Floridians understand that when America works with our allies to address the world’s greatest problems, not only are we doing what is right, we are doing what is in our own best interests,” added Dick Batchelor, Founder & President, Dick Batchelor Management Group, who served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1974 to 1982.

A full listing of the Florida Advisory Committee is available at:

About the Center for U.S. Global Engagement and Impact ’08:

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.

About our partners:

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce ( is an association of businesses and professions organized to create economic progress in Miami-Dade County. To carry out its mission, the Chamber serves as the voice of business enterprise and involves the private sector in community leadership.

The Center for Hemispheric Policy ( at the University of Miami examines the relationship of the United States within the hemisphere in areas such as economic development and trade, healthcare and medical research, environmental programs, education, infrastructure, and politics