November 25, 2013

Senator Hagan, former Governors Hunt and Martin Address How U.S. Global Engagement Benefits North Carolina

Diverse Coalition of More than 500 Business, Military, Nonprofit, Academic and Faith-Based Leaders Gather to Support U.S. Development Assistance and Diplomacy Initiatives 

Raleigh, N.C. — U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Admiral James Stavridis, and former North Carolina Governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin spoke to a gathering of over more than 500 North Carolina business and civic leaders today on the benefits North Carolina’s economy receives from American engagement in the world.

Governors Hunt and Martin are co-chairing a bipartisan effort to raise awareness of how America’s development and diplomacy programs create jobs in the Tar Heel State and protect our national security.  As 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S. and one in five North Carolina jobs are tied to trade, U.S. investments in these tools are critical to the state’s economic future.

“Governor Hunt and I are proud to serve as co-chairs of the N.C. Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition,” said Governor Martin.  “The importance of American leadership is something both Republicans and Democrats agree on, and U.S. international affairs programs are a wise commitment of resources that enhance U.S. security and competitiveness in an increasingly globalized economy.”

“Growing America’s economy and keeping our families safe depend today on our engagement with the rest of the world,” said Governor Hunt. “In this respect, investing in America’s global leadership has never been more crucial to our state’s prosperity and security.”

Today’s event was organized by the USGLC in collaboration with RTI International, the Farm Bureau of North Carolina, and the Research Triangle Park.  The program also featured a showcase of innovative, life-saving projects – many created by North Carolina-based organizations – aimed at bringing better health, economic prosperity, and social stability to developing nations around the globe.

“Beyond its economic benefits, U.S. engagement in the world is also critical to our national security and global stability,” said Senator Hagan.  “As Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, and as a Senator for hundreds of thousands of military and veteran families, I am keenly aware of the importance of balancing both military power and diplomacy. America has a long history of global leadership, and today, more than ever, we must step up to the plate – for our economy, for our security, and for a safer and more prosperous world.”

Admiral James Stavridis, who retired this year as the NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, spoke of the great importance of a “smart power” approach to our national security, using all of our elements of national power—development, diplomacy, and defense.

“In the 21st century, because of the advent of terror networks and the free movement of goods and people across the globe, we need to build security by building bridges instead of building walls,” said Admiral Stavridis.  “Smart power is the short hand for a collection of tools that allow us to do that.” 

Demonstrating the difference North Carolina is making in the developing world, Duke University’s Dr. Robert Malkin presented a new innovation he created with his students called the Pratt Pouch, a packet filled with ready-made doses of life-saving medication that HIV positive mothers can provide their children and prevent transmission of the disease.  Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory received funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop the Pouch.

“North Carolina business, military, nonprofit, and faith-based leaders clearly appreciate the value America’s engagement in the world brings to the Tar Heel state,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer.  “Our International Affairs Budget is just one percent of the federal budget, but has a tremendous impact both at home and abroad.  I want to thank Senator Hagan, Governor Hunt, and Governor Martin for their support of the USGLC’s bipartisan efforts to champion our development and diplomacy programs.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( 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.