November 16, 2020

Regional Summit with Senator Coons Highlights Importance of U.S. Global Leadership on American Health, Economic, and National Security

Policy, Business, and Public Health Leaders Agree a Global Pandemic Requires a Global Response

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), and more than 1,000 political, business, military, and community leaders convened virtually for a Mid-Atlantic Summit to discuss the connections between global affairs and the region. With cases of COVID-19 reaching record levels in the U.S., policy, business, and global health leaders resoundingly agreed America’s diplomacy and development programs are more critical than ever in responding to a global pandemic and protecting the health and safety of all Americans.

“U.S. diplomacy and development programs are critical to tackling the root causes of the world’s toughest challenges—especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate humanitarian crises around the world, disrupt the global economy, and threaten the health and safety of our own country,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). “It is imperative that the U.S. government address the global dimensions of this pandemic, because if we don’t take action, things will only get worse—across America and around the world. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees, I will continue to support these and other investments to ensure that the United States takes decisive action to combat COVID-19 and restores its position as a world leader.”

“The global economy is facing its greatest crisis since the Great Depression— something we’re feeling acutely here in Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region at large. This ongoing health pandemic shows the close connection between our health and our economy, and without action, U.S. businesses and American jobs could be in jeopardy, not to mention our country’s economic recovery,” said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE). “I’m working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that our response to COVID-19 helps those most in need— here at home and abroad— and invests in the tools and resources required to protect against future health threats.”

“Values-driven leadership in any way, shape, or form is a must and I believe something we can work toward now—and combatting human trafficking is a large part of that,” said Cindy McCain, Chair of the Board of Trustees, McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. “Values-driven leadership is most important in this arena and something that the world is looking for the United States to fill.”

“In the context of pandemic…our whole team here realized that something like DFC is needed more than ever before,” said Adam Boehler, CEO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. “Many emerging countries don’t have the opportunity to do things like PPP… We were able to ensure in a lot of emerging economies that small and medium-sized businesses didn’t go out of businesses… We were able to ensure lots of people don’t lose jobs, [and] we were able to ensure development continues in those countries.”

“COVID-19 is the ultimate demonstration that what happens overseas matters to our country and has become the ultimate kitchen table issue in America, impacting the health, safety, and prosperity of our families and communities,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC President & CEO. “And what we’ve heard today — from Senator Coons and our exceptional business, policy, and global health leaders — is that this global pandemic requires a global response.  America’s diplomacy and development programs have always been a hallmark of U.S. leadership around the world and the stakes have never been higher as COVID-19 cases spike globally and exacerbate ongoing humanitarian crises and conflicts in its wake.”

Additional Mid-Atlantic Summit participants included the Honorable Jack Markell, Delaware governor (2009-2017); Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda; Dr. Mark T. Esser, Vice President, Microbial Sciences, AstraZeneca; Hon. Dan Glickman, Senior Advisor, USGLC and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1995-2001); Tara Hogan Charles, Associate Director, Global Government Relations & Public Policy, Procter & Gamble; UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab; and Nancy Cordes, Congressional Correspondent, CBS News.

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.