July 27, 2017

Secretary Lujan, Governor Richardson Lead New Mexico Effort to Strengthen U.S. Leadership Overseas

Senators Udall and Heinrich lend support to U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s expanding network in New Mexico

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s top business, military, non-profit, and community leaders have joined together to highlight the importance of American engagement overseas by launching the New Mexico Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. The new and growing leadership group underscores New Mexico’s commitment to development and diplomacy and emphasizes the importance of investing in America’s International Affairs Budget.

The new Advisory Committee now boasts more than 50 leaders in the state including Jason Espinoza, President of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry; Lt. Gen. Edward Baca, U.S. Army (Ret.); Edward L. Lujan, Former Chair of the New Mexico Republican Party and Chair Emeritus of the National Hispanic Cultural Center; and Hon. Ed Romero, U.S. Ambassador to Spain (1998-2001).

“I am thrilled to see such an impressive group of New Mexicans come together with the USGLC to say that America must be a global leader,” said former Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan. “New Mexico knows that now, more than ever before, our state’s economy, security, and prosperity are linked to the rest of the world. And, if we want to create a better future for our families and communities, we must be engaged far beyond our shores. That is why I am honored to join the USGLC’s New Mexico Advisory Committee.”

“U.S. foreign assistance demonstrates the best of America’s values,” said former Governor Bill Richardson. “With unprecedented famines and humanitarian challenges around the globe, it is our responsibility to serve as a beacon of hope for others. By investing in the programs that fight hunger and poverty, tackle diseases, and stabilize vulnerable regions, we are not only saving the lives of millions, but also maintaining U.S. Leadership around the world—ultimately making New Mexico safer, stronger, and far better off. We are fortunate to have state leaders like those on the USGLC’s New Mexico Advisory Committee who are committed to keeping our International Affairs Budget robust and fully funded.”

In addition to building economic prosperity, U.S. foreign assistance is a critical tool to protect America’s national security by countering violent extremism, promoting global stability, and preventing conflict before it occurs.

“As the Trump administration attempts to diminish the role of the State Department in foreign policy and proposes cutting the department’s budget, our national security is put into jeopardy. Now more than ever we need to strengthen our diplomacy and I’m pleased to see the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition expand in our state and give New Mexicans a voice and an opportunity to lead on the many challenges we face as an international community,” said Senator Martin Heinrich.

Last year, New Mexico exported more than $3.8 billion in goods and services to foreign markets, and trade supported nearly a fifth of New Mexico’s jobs, making U.S. international engagement a strategic issue for the community.

On Friday, August 14 the USGLC will kick off its first New Mexico event by hosting Senator Tom Udall for a lunch forum to discuss why leading globally matters for New Mexico. With our economic security increasingly linked to the global marketplace and emerging threats like ISIS and global pandemics, this discussion could not come at a more critical time.

“Our country’s international affairs programs are among the best investments for the money that we can make in New Mexico’s future,” said Senator Tom Udall. “For a tiny fraction of the federal budget, our diplomats and development workers help New Mexico businesses seize opportunities overseas, create good jobs at home, and support our service members in the critical work of keeping us safe. I’m proud to see such a strong, bipartisan group of New Mexicans come together in support of our civilian diplomacy programs, and I look forward to joining them at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s inaugural event in Albuquerque.”

“America’s international affairs programs are one area where Democrats and Republicans come together,” said USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer. “Our growing presence underscores the fact that New Mexicans understand that America’s engagement overseas is critical to advancing our security and economy here at home.”

America’s development and diplomacy programs comprise just one percent of federal spending, and include diplomatic relations, security assistance to allies and strategic partners, trade and economic relations, health clinics and schools in the developing world, and humanitarian relief efforts.

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.