November 16, 2018

Senators Coons and Corker to 400+ Wilmington Leaders: We Must Continue to Strengthen U.S. Leadership Around World

Press handout photos here.

Watch the full video here.

WILMINGTON – Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) told more than 400 political, business, and community leaders today that America must continue to invest in American’s civilian tools overseas to strengthen U.S. national security and create new economic opportunities for Delaware businesses.

“Investing in our nation’s diplomacy and development programs is not just the right thing do for our values, but the smart thing to do for our state and our country,” said Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). “These strategic investments make us safer at home and help save lives. They bring people out of poverty in the developing world and create new opportunities for Delaware businesses abroad. At a time when we face significant threats to our democratic institutions and mounting crises around the world, these investments – and the historic bipartisan support they enjoy – are more important than ever.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s forum with two Senate luminaries on foreign policy, who have championed the global development agenda and protected America’s International Affairs Budget from disproportionate and draconian cuts.
“USAID does an outstanding job working around the world to solve problems,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN). Commenting on the 1% of the federal budget that the U.S. spends on diplomacy and development, he added. “It is about ensuring that we’ve done everything we possibly can to keep America’s best and brightest out of harm’s way.”

With over 100,000 jobs in Delaware tied to international trade, and Delaware exports to foreign markets totaling more than $4.6 billion a year, America’s global leadership isn’t just a matter of national security. It’s also a strategic economic issue for the First State.

“Throughout the last four decades, OPIC has driven positive change in some of the world’s most challenging markets— mobilizing private sector capital to address critical issues like extreme poverty, women’s empowerment, and infrastructure,” said Ray Washburne, OPIC President & CEO. “With the BUILD Act signed into law and the new U.S. Development Finance Corporation on the horizon, the U.S. will soon have the tools to make a greater impact in emerging markets in places like Africa, the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and others, with U.S. companies reaping benefits—at no net cost to the American taxpayer.”

The forum also brought together leaders from the private sector alongside the veteran, NGO, faith, and diaspora communities.

“At Land O’Lakes, we are working not only to feed the world through our connected agricultural network, but to empower people in developing economies,” said Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes. “Public-private partnerships offer support to that meaningful work, leading to both economic and political stability.”

Today’s event marks the second annual mid-Atlantic summit hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition in Delaware, building on the past success of Senator Coons’s Opportunity: Africa summit over the last decade.

“Bipartisanship can be hard to come by in Washington, especially after a tumultuous election season. But one area that continues to build bipartisan support is America’s global development agenda,” said Liz Schrayer, President and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. “Helping lead this movement is Delaware’s own, Senator Chris Coons, alongside Chairman Bob Corker – two steadfast champions whose instincts to reach across the aisle are making America, and the world, a better and safer place.

Also participating in today’s forum was Jeffrey Bullock, Delaware Secretary of State; Michael Quaranta, President, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce; Karl Fickenscher, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, USAID; Dr. Beth Dunford, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau of Food Security, Deputy Coordinator for Development, Feed the Future, USAID; Jennifer Billings, Agriculture Development Leader, Corteva; Tara Hogan Charles, Associate Director, Global Government Relations & Public Policy, Procter & Gamble; Krista Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer, D-Rev; John Ellenberger, Senior Vice President, Land O’Lakes International Development; Michael Gerson of The Washington Post; C.D. Glin, President & CEO of the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF); Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President & CEO, Project Concern International (PCI); Jahaan Johnson, Senior Vice President, Citi; and Bill O’Keefe, Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy, Catholic Relief Services.

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.