January 21, 2010

Foreign Policy Team Has Experience and Commitment to Elevate Development and Diplomacy

Updated Global Plum Book Lists Who is Responsible for the Administration’s Smart Power Agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Obama Administration ends its first year in office, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is releasing an online update to its “Global Plum Book” (www.usglc.org/global-plum-book), the ground-breaking guide to key decision makers who shape U.S. global policy agenda.  From Cabinet Secretaries down to  officials who are implementing the policies on a day-to-day basis, this guide identifies political appointees across the Administration best positioned to carry out a global engagement agenda.

“President Obama has put together an impressive foreign policy team, and with strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, there is real commitment in Washington to strengthen our civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer. “Our updated Global Plum Book highlights the power players in this Administration influencing foreign policy.  Not surprisingly, the profiles reveal a senior foreign policy team with deep roots in the smart power agenda.”

A look through the updated Global Plum Book confirms that members of President Obama’s foreign policy team bring years of expertise and are strong believers in the need to strengthen our non-military tools for global engagement.  The list includes many senior officials who endorsed the USGLC’s Impact ’08 campaign, which included a bipartisan call to all the Presidential candidates to elevate development and diplomacy in their campaign’s foreign policy platforms.

This version of the Global Plum Book highlights new positions that were not identified previously, which reflects a “whole of government” approach to foreign policy called for by both sides of the political aisle.  The Secretary of Agriculture, for instance, is a key player in the food security initiative, and the State Department has a number of Special Envoys, such as Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and former Senator George Mitchell, now overseeing other key initiatives. The one startling hole in the Administration’s global engagement team is apparent at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where many key vacancies still exist due to the delay in Administrator Shah’s nomination.

As the bipartisan momentum to elevate development and diplomacy continues to grow from both Capitol Hill and the White House, consider the Global Plum Book a resource as new appointees and decision makers come on board.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.