October 14, 2009

Momentum Builds for Putting Smart Power to Work

New Campaign Launched to Elevate Non-Military Tools of Development and Diplomacy

Washington, DC —The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition launched its new Putting Smart Power to Work campaign today by hosting the first public dialogue of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).   The QDDR is one example of the momentum building to further elevate U.S. development and diplomacy efforts. 

“There is widespread bipartisan support and momentum growing for a smart power approach to U.S. foreign policy,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer.  “With a Presidential Study Directive on Global Development, bipartisan bills in both houses of Congress to reform foreign assistance, increases in the International Affairs budget, and the QDDR, we have a unique opportunity to elevate and strengthen our development and diplomatic efforts as a nation.”   

All three of the QDDR co-chairs—Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, State Department Director of Policy and Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter and Acting USAID Administrator Alonzo Fulgham—spoke at the event with Deputy Secretary Lew providing an overview of current U.S. development and diplomacy efforts and the three co-chairs discussing the QDDR in a panel discussion. 

Staff from the QDDR and Capitol Hill participated in working group sessions later in the morning with members of the development and foreign assistance community.  The USGLC will continue to gather input in the coming months for the State Department’s QDDR staff. 

Today’s Putting Smart Power to Work event brought together businesses, NGOs, and faith-based groups to have a dialogue with State Department officials and staff from Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of America’s non-military tools of global engagement. 

“What happens in one country’s economy today affects the global economy,” said Bill Lane, USGLC Co-President, and Washington Director of Caterpillar.  “There is now a firm consensus among business leaders about the importance of U.S. development and diplomacy efforts as they help to build strong markets for U.S. goods overseas.” 

“America has always been a leader in providing assistance to those most in need throughout the world,” said Nancy Lindborg, Co-President of the USGLC and President of Mercy Corps.  “By more effectively using our development resources to fight poverty, conflict, disease and malnutrition, we demonstrate the best of who we are as a country and what we believe in while also advancing our national interests.”   

“I think of smart power as the strategic triad of the 21st Century—the integrated blend of defense, diplomacy and development,” said General Michael Hagee, USMC (Ret.), a member of USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council.  “But this strategic approach will only be effective if all three smart power pillars are coherent, coordinated, and adequately resourced.” 

The USGLC’s Putting Smart Power to Work campaign is a continuation of its successful Impact ’08 campaign, which encouraged the presidential candidates of both major parties to endorse a smart power foreign policy approach.  This new campaign will encourage leaders and policymakers to make real commitments to putting smart power to work.   

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.