June 17, 2015

Influential “Strange-bedfellow” Voices Convene in Washington to Urge Congress to Maintain America’s Global Leadership

June 17, 2015

On 20th Anniversary, USGLC Tribute Dinner to Honor Senators Corker and Coons as Outstanding Bipartisan Champions of Development and Diplomacy; Dinner to feature Admiral Michael Mullen

Washington, D.C. — As the U.S. faces increasingly complex crises overseas, more than 1,200 veterans, business and faith leaders, and policy leaders are gathering in Washington this week to call for strong U.S. engagement in the world. Central to the gathering’s message is the call to strengthen our nation’s tools of development and diplomacy, alongside defense, to keep America strong and safe.

This year’s USGLC Summit and Tribute Dinner also mark twenty years of the coalition’s impact, and comes as Congress makes critical decisions on funding for the International Affairs Budget.

“With growing security threats and humanitarian crises across the globe, now is not the time to pull back,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO. “I’m proud that throughout the last two decades –even in times of intense partisanship and with a small minority calling for withdrawal from the world – this issue has bridged the ideological divide and united leaders from both sides of the aisle. Influential voices from across the country have come together to celebrate the achievements in fighting disease, fostering democracy, and creating new trading partners overseas – and are urging policymakers to continue their support.”

The two-day summit began yesterday with high-level panels on national security, public-private partnerships, and responding to humanitarian crises. During one panel, state leaders heard from former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Michael W. Hagee, who noted, “The entire United States government – not just the military – has to have the ability to react; we have to bring diplomatic, economic, political, and if necessary, military power to bear.”

On Capitol Hill today, leaders will hold more than 175 meetings with their lawmakers to advocate for a strong International Affairs budget.

Capping off the two days will be the 20th anniversary tribute dinner honoring Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chris Coons (D-DE) for their bipartisan leadership in advancing U.S. leadership overseas.

“It is hard to recall a time in history when pragmatic U.S. leadership around the world mattered more to our nation’s security and prosperity. Responsible engagement improves individual lives and economic opportunities at home and abroad, and helps head off problems before they become crises. I am honored to be recognized alongside Senator Chris Coons and thank the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition for all they do to advance America’s interests around the globe,” said Senator Corker.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by USGLC and to share an award with a leader like Senator Bob Corker,” said Senator Coons. “USGLC deserves praise for convening conversations about all elements of national power within the United States. If we are going to remain a global leader – which I believe we must – we need groups like USGLC to sustain all the tools in our national security toolkit.”

The 800 dinner guests will come together tonight to recognize the contribution of the International Affairs Budget to a strong and prosperous United States. Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of the more than 160 retired 3- and 4-star Generals and Admirals affiliated with USGLC, will discuss the link between national security, development, and diplomacy.

Press interested in attending tonight’s tribute dinner can RSVP to [email protected].

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, 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.

CONTACT: Sidney Traynham / [email protected] / 202-730-4136