August 25, 2017

Senator Perdue, 400+ Georgia Leaders Back Diplomacy and Development to Advance U.S. Interests Overseas

Press handout photos here:
the full event

ATLANTA – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted U.S. Senator David Perdue, General Richard E. Hawley, and more than 400 Georgia leaders for a timely discussion on the importance of investing in America’s civilian tools of diplomacy and global development in order to keep our country secure and Georgia’s economy strong.

“As we work to combat a myriad of threats around the world, we must continue America’s role as a global humanitarian leader,” said Senator David Perdue. “After years of failed policies and weak leadership abroad, there is still much work to do to reengage with the rest of the world and encourage development. A great place to start is with improving the effectiveness of foreign assistance. I’m proud of the role that many of Georgia’s public and private companies play in supporting America’s philanthropic interests. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is doing a great job at keeping this issue on the forefront of peoples’ minds.”

With major crises confronting the State Department and USAID, today’s conversation could not come at a more critical time for Georgia.

“An effective national security strategy must include diplomacy and development, alongside defense,” said General Richard E. Hawley, U.S. Air Force (Ret). “As we face an ever-growing number of threats, our military needs the support of our nation’s civilian forces, and our diplomats need the support of a strong military— to negotiate peace, forge alliances, and secure the peace that military success makes possible.” General Hawley was one of more than 120 retired generals and admirals who wrote to Congress earlier this year to protect resources for the State Department and USAID.

Here in Georgia, more than 1.2 million local jobs are tied to international trade and exports to foreign markets total more than $35.7 billion a year – making U.S. international engagement a strategic economic issue for the state.

“More than 80 percent of what we sell globally comes from outside the United States – so if Coca-Cola is going to continue to grow, then we have got to grow in international markets,” said Michael Goltzman, Vice President of Global Public Policy and International Government Relations for The Coca-Cola Company. “But we can’t build a regulatory system, we cannot create the rule of rule, we can’t make sure there is a level playing field. Working with the U.S. government is the only way to… create the foundation and the infrastructure that allows us to be successful and invest in those markets.”

Also speaking at today’s event were Victoria King, Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS, Tjada McKenna, Chief Operating Officer for Habitat for Humanity, and Commissioner Stan Wise of the Georgia Public Service Commission.

“From Afghanistan to North Korea to the next pandemic, the leaders here in Atlanta clearly understand that the stakes are too high for America to pull back from the world,” said USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer. “Senator Perdue has been a vital force protecting American investments in development and diplomacy – helping ensure our nation’s interests and values around the world.”

With a strong and growing coalition in Georgia for more than four years, the USGLC’s Georgia Advisory Committee brings together more than 110 business, faith, non-profit, and political leaders who understand how American global leadership matters for Georgia.

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.