November 15, 2021

President Biden, Members of Congress, Diplomatic Leaders and Community Leaders Join Mid-Atlantic Summit on Value of Foreign Aid for Middle Class Families

WILMINGTON, DE – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition today hosted its 2021 Mid-Atlantic Summit, bringing together thousands of leaders throughout the region and spotlighting how U.S. engagement through diplomacy, global health, and foreign aid is beneficial to America’s middle class workers and families. 

President Joe Biden made closing remarks at the summit, which also included a broad and bipartisan array of speakers including: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy ShermanSenator Chris Coons (D-DE)Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE); Gayle Smith, Coordinator for Global COVID Response & Health Security, U.S. Department of State; Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics; Sarah Thorn, Senior Director, Global Government Affairs, Walmart; Andrea Wainer, Executive Vice President, Rapid & Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott; and Liz Schrayer, President and CEO of the USGLC. 

With nearly 40 million American jobs dependent on international trade, diplomacy, foreign aid and engagement is critical to our nation’s economy and security. Monday’s summit looked at such topics as the global economic recovery, global health in the midst of the pandemic, and the important of supporting democracy around the world. 

The full summit video is available here: 

President Joe Biden 

“My administration has put diplomacy back at the center of our foreign policy. We’re leading with every element of our power, elevating our development, engagement, driving global health commitments, renewing and defending democracy, and using the strength of our alliances to update the rules of the road around key issues like trade, cyber emerging technologies. And at every step we’re prioritizing delivering for middle class Americans. Whether we’re sharpening Americans economic competitiveness, or working with partners to reduce backlogs and global supply chains… I look forward to continuing to engage the USGLC as we advance a foreign policy that makes life better, safer and more prosperous for people everywhere.”  

The President’s full remarks are available here: 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman 

“In my first six months as Deputy, I’ve been around the world three times and I just came back from Uruguay and Peru. And there is a yearning for freedom. There is yearning for citizens to find capacity and they look to us, they look to the United States. There’s no question. But they also wonder about us sometimes, so as we are asking other countries to move to strengthen their democracy, or move to democracy, we need to strengthen and renew our own democracy.” 

 Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) 

“It’s clear from this conversation why U.S. global leadership matters. It matters for job creation, it matters for economic growth, it matters to the future of our climate. It matters to our faith leaders and our faith communities whose work overseas and at home is tied to their opportunity to engage in service. It matters to our very core values as Americans, it matters as an opportunity to show our commitment to democracy and to together build a safer, stronger and more prosperous world for ourselves, our children and our future.” 

 Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) 

“The rise of authoritarianism that we are seeing around the world – it makes us a less safe nation in the United States that this deficit with regard to democracy is continuing… There’s a lot of bipartisan support. As the chairman of the International Republican Institute… IRI works closely with the National Democratic Institute, which is chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and I will tell you it’s always important for us to remember what the biggest weakness of these authoritarian regimes is, whether it’s Xi Jinping or Putin… these leaders fear their own people. And I think we need to remember that and have confidence in our own system, even when it’s not perfect.” 

 Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) 

“What’s it worth to have America back at the table on the world stage, it means working together to develop life-saving vaccines in record time. It means forming alliances across the globe, that defend democracy, and knockback autocracy. It means working cooperatively to create an economy of prosperity that lifts citizens equitably around the globe.” 

 Gayle Smith, Coordinator for Global COVID Response & Health Security, U.S. Department of State 

“We’ve gotta turn vaccines into vaccinations… That’s one of our real priority focuses right now is how can we work with our partners through USAID, the Centers for Disease Control. In a very exciting development, we’re working with the private sector, a group of major companies has come together to say that they will provide the capabilities that they have to help top up the capabilities on the ground in these countries. So our real mission now: get vaccines out the door, but get the shots in arms. Vaccines need to be vaccinations.” 

 Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, National Security Council 

“To honor our commitment to the safety and security of the American people, we have a duty to mobilize the world to meet challenges that no single country can solve by itself… Prosperity abroad and prosperity at home are mutually reinforcing. The American middle class benefits when we can sell more of our goods and services to growing overseas. Markets, when our firms and our workers have opportunities to compete and win abroad.” 

 Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy for COVID-19 Response 

“America is our most important partner globally in dealing with this problem [COVID-19]. And even if you look at the situation right now, in the last few months, President Biden and your Congressional leadership, the support we have received, the commitments are exactly half of the vaccines that we require as a continent.” 

 Rep. Peter Roskam, Former U.S. Congressman (R-IL); Member, USGLC Board of Directors 

“The world economy is struggling so much right now. We’ve seen how significant the drop off is in terms of global economic supply chains and how inextricably linked and their impact on more prosperous nations – our own included – and also the struggling nature of COVID’s disproportionate impact on less developed countries.” 

 Sarah Thorn Senior Director, Global Government Affairs, Walmart; Member, USGLC Board of Directors 

“When we think about the issue of a foreign policy for the middle class, Walmart is a great example of thinking about how our investments overseas – our ability to sell products and services overseas – benefit Americans here… We’re a stronger company if we can compete overseas. We’re a stronger company and we have more jobs in Bentonville, Arkansas and around the world if we have more opportunities to grow overseas. And rely on the U.S. government to help us make sure we have open markets, that our competitors play by the rules, and that we can actually compete overseas.” 

 Andrea Wainer, Executive Vice President, Rapid & Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott 

“At Abbott, since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been on the frontlines supporting health care workers around the globe distributing tests… It’s about having strong collaborations across borders to be able to implement, so we’ve been working closely with partners such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Gates Foundation to be able to make sure our tests are getting into the right hands on the ground… We alone have distributed a billion tests since the start of the pandemic. We’ve been in the low- and middle-income countries for decades addressing diseases such as HIV.” 

 Dr. Ezrah Aharone, Founding Director of the Center for Global Africa, Delaware State University 

“USAID is necessary in terms of building resilience, creating peace, opportunities and trade, as well as strengthening doors of opportunity for HBCUs, as we play our intermediary role to make a difference in the world in terms of peace, development, security, trade – with special emphasis on addressing the complexities of COVID-19.” 

 Neeraj Batta, Senior Vice President, Batta Environmental Associates – Newark, DE 

“It would be immensely harder for us to compete if we did not have the support of U.S. government agencies. USTDA has been a wonderful partner for us in helping to expand our business overseas. These folks work tirelessly, especially on behalf of small businesses to find those opportunities.” 

Lynn McConville, Executive Director, Power Up Gambia – Philadelphia, PA 

We’re not an isolated country. We’re not isolated from the greater world… When you travel around the Gambia, the opportunities are immense for both business and engineering projects, healthcare projects because it is growing so rapidly.” 

Liz Schrayer, President and CEO, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition 

“The global pandemic was a wake-up call of how interconnected our world is and that America simply can’t ignore what happens outside of our borders. It’s why today’s Mid-Atlantic Summit is such an important conversation and we’re honored to host it alongside Senator Coons, who is one of our country’s most exceptional policy makers. He truly embodies our mission to build a better and safer, more prosperous world – and I see it every day in Washington as he works tirelessly to ensure America’s foreign policy delivers for the people of Delaware and for our country’s middle class.” 


The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 500 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.