December 11, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Leading figures in the U.S. foreign policy community honored Senator Kelly Ayotte(R-NH), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah on Wednesday evening at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s annual Tribute Dinner.
Nearly 900 influential players involved in diplomacy and development took part in the event, known by many as the “Smart Power Prom,” including a strong bipartisan showing from Capitol Hill, senior U.S. government officials and the heads of Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and faith-based and military leaders.
“Today’s headlines are a stark reminder of the imparity of America’s global leadership,” said USGLC President & CEO Liz Schrayer. “Tonight’s three extraordinary honorees exemplify the bipartisan support for making our world a better and safer place through America’s investments in smart power. We are honored to recognize each of their contributions to advancing our interests throughout the world.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign Operations, paid tribute to the Dr. Shah’s reform agenda, saying, “Administrator Shah is a smart coalition builder who has brought a long overdue, transparent and business-like approach to USAID. I genuinely appreciate his efforts to partner with faith-based NGOs in delivering services to the developing world. Under his leadership, USAID grows stronger and more effective by the day.”
In his remarks at the dinner, Shah noted, “Today, USAID is pioneering a new model of development — working alongside the world’s brightest minds to solve our biggest shared problems. By harnessing the power of science, technology, and innovation, we not only strengthen America’s economic and national security, but advance our mission of ending extreme poverty.”
Discussing the national security importance of advancing U.S. interests abroad, Senator Ayotte said, “Foreign assistance is vital to our national security and helps advance U.S. economic security and prosperity. When combined with American leadership and military strength second to none, I believe investing in development and diplomacy can often prevent more costly conflict tomorrow.”
Senator Kaine said, “Foreign aid is one of the best tools we have in grappling with a very unstable world, and it embodies all the best values of Americans. It’s one of the best bargains around. I have seen the impact that America’s investments in global development can make, and am proud that these investments improve the lives of thousands around the world, while also creating jobs here at home.”
Leaders from global organizations also delivered remarks and served as Co-Chairs for the dinner on behalf of the USGLC’s 400-plus member organizations. Among the speakers were Kathy Calvin, President & CEO of the United Nations Foundation; Rhonda Zygocki, Executive Vice President, Policy & Planning of Chevron; Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children; and Lt. General Kip Ward.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition unites business, military, faith and political leaders to strengthen U.S. investments in international affairs. An influential network of more than 400 organizations across the country, the USGLC engages policymakers and helps educate the American public on the importance of tools of development and diplomacy in strengthening America’s global leadership.
Now in its 10th year, the USGLC’S annual Tribute Dinner is widely known as a must-attend event for the nation’s top development and diplomacy leaders. Past distinguished honorees include Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., former Secretaries of States Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of Defense Robert Ga