July 18, 2012

In a Town Divided, Leaders from Across Political Spectrum Agree: America’s Global Leadership Matters to Protect U.S. Security & Economic Interests

In a Town Divided, Leaders from Across Political Spectrum Agree: America’s Global Leadership Matters to Protect U.S. Security & Economic Interests

Senators Leahy & Graham Honored for Support of International Affairs Budget 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leaders from across the political spectrum in government, military and business today joined together to call for American investment in development and diplomacy as essential to protecting U.S. security and creating new jobs at home.  Leaders gathered today at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s (USGLC) Annual Conference and Tribute Dinner.

“At a time of economic angst and political divide,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer, “Leaders on both sides of the aisle are united about few issues – and on top of the list is America’s leadership in the world.  Spending just one percent of the federal budget for international work is more critical than ever to our domestic and economic security.”

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were honored for their exemplary leadership in support of America’s smart power tools of development and diplomacy at the dinner this evening, and formerSecretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell discussed the need for American engagement in the world.

“Senators Leahy and Graham have bucked a very partisan environment to work together to open new markets for U.S. businesses and workers,” said Bill Lane, Co-President of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and Washington Director of Caterpillar. “They are a testament to the bipartisan support that exists for a smart power approach to our foreign policy and the need for a strong and effective International Affairs Budget.”

“Greater engagement through diplomacy and development is not an option in today’s world: it is a necessity,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. “Investing in American diplomacy serves the interests of our country in all corners of the globe and helps create a better, safer world.”

“Our International Affairs Budget is a smart and necessary investment in strengthening America’s civilian capacities for global development assistance and diplomacy, which augment our defense and are vital to our national security and prosperity,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Co-chairing the dinner on behalf of the USGLC’s many member organizations were Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, and Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President, Chief Public Affairs Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

Earlier in the day, former political party chairs Ed Gillespie and Terry McAuliffe looked ahead to the conventions and final stretch of the presidential and congressional campaigns; Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed America’s role in the world, and former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), spoke on behalf of Gov. Mitt Romney on his campaign’s foreign policy priorities.

Past honorees of the USGLC’s Tribute Dinner include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, Senators Dick Durbin, Chuck Hagel, and Paul Sarbanes, and Representative Chris Shays.

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.


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