June 9, 2023

USGLC Convenes Ambassadors Nicholas Burns, Cindy McCain and Oksana Markarova, Under Secretary Jay Shambaugh, former Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Representatives Barbara Lee and Mike Gallagher and others at the 2023 Global Impact Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted its Global Impact Forum with Ambassadors Nicholas Burns, U.S. Ambassador to China, Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S., Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Jay Shambaugh, Under Secretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury, former Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA-12) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8) and other foreign policy experts for a dynamic conference with leaders from across the globe.

The high-impact Forum connected hundreds of top political and policy leaders with thousands of diverse voices from the business, non-profit, faith, and national security communities from across the country to voice support for America’s diplomatic and development toolkit, and how they can help address competition with China, Russia’s war in Ukraine, rising authoritarianism, growing inequality, climate change, public health, food insecurity, humanitarian crises, and other threats to global stability.

“Today was a powerful statement of how much global issues matter to kitchen table issues,” said USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer. “Seeing 500 influential business leaders, farmers, veterans, Mayors and other elected officials from across the country come to Washington for USGLC’s Global Impact Forum is a clear demonstration that America’s role in the world matters to our economic and security interests. Not surprisingly, expert after expert, from Reps. Gallagher to Lee to former Secretary of Defense Esper to Ambassador Cindy McCain, reinforced that diplomacy and development are critical tools.”


Quotes from the 2023 Global Impact Forum:

Amb. Nicholas Burns, U.S. Ambassador to China

“We’ve taken the position that because we have major differences between China and the United States, we’ve got to have more consistent conversations… We want to see China commit to conversations between us—routine conversations, military-to-military and that’s also true in the diplomatic space… Our view is we’ve got to talk, and we have to talk consistently, and we’ll continue to take that position with the PRC.”

Amb. Cindy McCain, Executive Director, World Food Programme

Food security is a national security issue. WFE has two responsibilities… and it’s to save lives and to change lives… My vision for all of this—with the lack of funds that we have right now—to make sure that we are a leaner, meaner organization. We do more with less and more importantly, we improve on our innovation, our technology, our science aspects, everything to help other people help themselves and that’s why we’re here.”

Amb. Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S.

“We need to win, all of us together. It’s not just Ukraine that needs to win. All of us, we need to win this war… This is the threat to all of us. This is important for the national security interests of the U.S. and for us and for Europe. For all NATO countries, for all transatlantic, democratic countries, to show that rule of law matters, the UN Charter matters, democracy matters, and democracy is worth fighting for.”

Dr. Jay Shambaugh, Under Secretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury

“On the one hand, I’d say if you ask yourself, where would you rather do business? I think unquestionably the answer is with us. I think they [Africa] want to trade with us. They want to sell us goods. They want foreign investment from the United States… Does China play a big role in parts of Africa? It does and I think that sometimes… there hasn’t been enough funding coming—whether it’s from the international financial institutions or from foreign direct investment—and its left countries, sometimes looking for other options.”

Dr. Mark T. Esper, former Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

“When we don’t lead bad things happen. Others fill the vacuum—states like Russia and China, autocracies will step in and do things that are contrary to our values, which I think is why it’s so important for us to lead… it’s not just in the military space, but it’s diplomacy, it’s foreign aid, it’s for assistance, all those things that constitutes a leader’s true power, the breadth of their power, and what countries are looking for when we talk about leadership.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)

“China’s strategy is to divide us… it’s a strategy that… Xi has pursued in the years since to pit Americans—who they believe are greedy and factional—against each other to prevent America from defending itself. So, keeping that in mind is essential to preserving the bipartisanship.”

Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements, UNHCR

“Forced displacement now is really the defining challenge of the 21st Century. And as UNHCR—the UN Refugee Agency—we have enjoyed really bipartisan support from the U.S., from the U.S. Congress, the American people. The U.S. government has been strongly supportive of these efforts over many, many years.”

Alice Albright, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation

“The countries that we work in know exactly that it is the United States that have helped them through MCC, and we see that every time we get on the ground. From a foreign policy perspective helps us build stability, trusted relationships, transparency in our engagement with countries. We also work on all manner of areas of reform that helps improve the enabling environment for U.S. businesses to come in… There are benefits for us as the United States in terms of our foreign policy goals, and there are benefits for our partners.”

Amb. John Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

“PEPFAR to me, represents the best of humanity when we apply ourselves appropriately and right. And PEPFAR represents where the good intersection between good politics and good public health implementation leads to millions of lives saved, 25 million lives saved.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

“We have saved over 25 million lives and we’re up now for reauthorizing it [PEPFAR] this year. We want to get it done in the summer… There are some who want to blow it up, open it up, which is going to make it more difficult to reauthorize it… We’ve got to get this through the finish line. It’s got to be bipartisan, and we will achieve an AIDS-free generation by 2030 if we stay the course.”

Former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

“This is a program that you know since World War II, the Marshall Plan, has been the program that has been the most successful, bipartisan program of foreign policy ever. It makes America look good to be helping so many people… So many things divide us, so many things are so toxic in Washington, but here’s something that both parties can look at and say we’ve got to reauthorize PEPFAR this year. There is no next year, so let’s work together.”



The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) 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.