December 1, 2022
FULL TRANSCRIPTS AND VIDEO REMARKS:
PRESS HANDOUT PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE HERE
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On December 1, more than 750 top business, military, faith, and political leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., along with 23 Members of Congress, to honor President and Mrs. Bush with USGLC’s “Global Leadership Award” for their vision and leadership in launching the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, in 2003. The USGLC also honored USAID Administrator Samantha Power for her global humanitarian leadership at the helm of the world’s premier development agency, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his championing of America’s global leadership, and paid special tribute to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, with USGLC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The USGLC’s annual Tribute Celebration brings together members of the foreign policy and international development community to honor outstanding champions of American global leadership. Tonight’s dinner was co-chaired by Martin Fitchet, M.D., Global Head, Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson and Dr. Leslie Mancuso, President & CEO, Jhpiego.
In conversation with USGLC President and CEO, Liz Schrayer, President Bush made it clear why PEPFAR is so important and why Americans should care about such global issues saying, “It takes a lot to get me back to Washington… I’m here to say as loud and clear as I can: Congress must fund PEPFAR… On 9/11, we learned that the human condition elsewhere can jeopardize the security of the United States – and therefore the isolationist tendencies have got huge national security implications at home.”
In his remarks, Leader McConnell spoke on America’s role in the world and why our nation’s investments in foreign assistance alongside the military is in America’s direct national interests: “History has proven over and over again that America does well when America does good. Here’s a shining example of it, 11 of our top 15 trading partners were once recipients of U.S. foreign assistance… I like the way Jim Mattis put it: If Congress doesn’t want to fund smart diplomacy and foreign aid, we’d better get ready to spend the same money buying a whole lot more bullets later.”
Also honored was Administrator Power, who in a conversation with Dr. Raj Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, spoke on America’s role in the world saying, “I hope I can say… this in polite company, we’re kick ass! … We do big things, right? We vaccinate the world. We bring solar… so that off grid communities can get access to energy… I mean, we’re America, we can do these things.” She added, “We have managed to move resources to meet this moment and to have America leading in every single sector that matters at a time of unprecedented convergent crises, and we’ve done so with bipartisan support.”
Marking his enduring career as an unparalleled champion for America’s global leadership, the USGLC paid tribute to Chairman Leahy with the coalition’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the U.S. Capitol ahead of the Tribute Celebration.
“It was truly an electric night with the all-stars of American global leadership – President and Mrs. Bush, Samantha Power, Mitch McConnell, and Patrick Leahy,” said USGLC’s Liz Schrayer. “Their bipartisan voices all together on World AIDS Day brought to life the power and purpose for America’s role in the world and how diplomacy and development deliver for American families.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) 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.