August 31, 2015

Senator Tillis, Governor McCrory and Top Charlotte Leaders Convene for Global Forum on National Security, Economic Prosperity in North Carolina

General James Conway and CBN’s Political Correspondent David Brody Joined Local Business and Community Leaders to Discuss How North Carolina’s Economy is Linked to Global Development and American Diplomacy

Full video of the event:
Please see additional speaker video links below.

CHARLOTTESenator Thom Tillis and Governor Pat McCrory joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) in Charlotte today to discuss how America’s efforts abroad spur economic growth and promote our national security.

“With all the challenges facing our world today, looking inward as a nation is not an option. Strategic investments in America’s international affairs programs are absolutely vital to our national interests and it’s the right thing to do,” said Senator Tillis. “We need all the tools of national power – diplomacy and development, alongside defense – to keep us safe and create opportunities right here at home in North Carolina.”

Welcoming a group of more than 500 North Carolina leaders, Governor McCrory shared, “With numerous global charities and multinational businesses investing in our state’s economy, North Carolina is a global hub for commerce and innovation. I’m proud to work with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition to strengthen our nation’s international affairs programs to ensure that our state is able to compete overseas and create jobs here in North Carolina.”

Their discussion comes as 58 percent of Americans, an all-time high, expressed support for foreign trade and voters rank foreign policy and national security as a top issue.

Retired General James Conway stated, “I’ve seen throughout my career how the work of the State Department and our global development agencies is critical to America’s global leadership and reinforces our objectives in the military. When we invest in diplomacy and development, we can prevent conflict before it arises and reduce the need to send our servicemen and women into harm’s way.” General Conway served as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corp from 2006 to 2010.

USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer shared, “It’s great to be back in North Carolina because the leaders here absolutely get why American global leadership matters. They understand just how critical this small, but strategic investment our nation makes in development and diplomacy advances America’s interests abroad and back here at home.”

Speaking on the importance of U.S. investments in emerging markets, Sarah Thorn, Senior Director for Federal Government Relations for Walmart, said, “We need to create transparent, more stable economies, and better business operating environments – so that we’re operating on a level playing field.” She also highlighted the value of partnerships with the U.S. Agency for International Developement (USAID).

Charlotte is headquarters to some of the largest global brands and organizations in the world with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. In 2014, North Carolina exported more than $31 billion in goods and services to foreign markets, and trade supports one in four jobs in the state, making American global leadership a strategic issue for the Charlotte community.

Program participants also included senior executives from FHI 360, RTI International, and Samaritan’s Feet. Event partners also included the the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership, International House, the Military Officers Association of America – North Carolina Council of Chapters, North Carolina Technology Association, and the World Affairs Council of Charlotte.

For more about the impact of international affairs on North Carolina, see the USGLC Fact Sheet.

Liz Schrayer:
Governor McCrory:
Senator Tillis:
Panel Discussion:
(including General Conway and Sarah Thorn)

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, 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.