April 26, 2024

USGLC Convenes Senator Chris Coons, Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Ukraine’s Ambassador Oksana Markarova, Gov. David Beasley, Cargill CEO Brian Sikes, National and Local Leaders at 2024 Mid-Atlantic Summit

WILMINGTON — Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted its annual Mid-Atlantic Summit with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), alongside local business, non-profit, and foreign policy leaders for a dynamic conference to highlight the impact America’s global leadership impacts Delaware businesses and families.

The Summit explored how rising global disruptions are impacting the security and stability of the United States and communities across the Mid-Atlantic region. Leaders also discussed the importance of investments in Africa’s economic growth, combating climate change, new models of addressing food security, and how U.S. diplomacy and development programs overseas strengthens America’s security and economic interests at a time of global disruption.

Speakers included ABC’s Martha Raddatz, Citi’s Candi Wolff, Development Partners International’s Runa Alam, Versogen’s Dr. Yushan Yan, Johnson & Johnson’s Kathryn Wengel, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, New Castle County Executive’s Matt Meyer, and National Wildlife Federation’s Collin O’Mara.

Quotes from the 2024 Mid-Atlantic Summit:

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
“Today’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Summit highlighted how Delaware is interconnected with the rest of the world, and how our state has a role to play in critical global challenges from world hunger to climate change,” said Senator Coons. “I was thrilled to convene leaders from across our state, country, and world in Wilmington to discuss how Delaware’s industry and ingenuity can address issues as far-flung as growing food insecurity, African economic development, and climate resilience. Our state and nation benefit from stronger ties to partners around the world, and that the only way to build a stronger future is to do so together.

U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE-At Large)
“I am grateful to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and Senator Chris Coons for bringing these critical conversations to Delaware, and to all of these regional leaders for sharing their insights,”said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.“For the U.S. to remain a world leader, we must make the right investments in our domestic and global priorities. That’s why forums such as today’s are so crucial — because it gives us an opportunity to come together to talk about how we can expand critical development and diplomacy programs while creating good-paying jobs at home and abroad. I look forward to continuing to work with the stakeholders at this summit to foster a safer, stronger, and more prosperous world.”

The Honorable Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States
“When foreign assistance is structured the right way and is based on common values it leads to countries becoming both partners and self-sustainable. Ukraine is already example of that because the $300 million a year we were receiving through the USAID program prepared our Armed Forces and made them more NATO interoperable for the eight years before Russia’s invasion. Just $3 billion which was structured as a loan in 2015 made our economy return and with the reforms made us more self-sustainable which prepared us to be resilient before this attack. If you look at the budget assistance, that is why it’s so important that Congress is not only providing us with defense assistance, but also Budget and Economic Assistance.”

The Honorable David Beasley, Former Executive Director, World Food Program; 113th Governor of South Carolina
“I get this question all over the world and it doesn’t matter whether it’s in the Bundestag of Germany or the Parliament of the UK, or in the United States House or Senate. That question is, why should I send money down to Chad or Guatemala when I have health care funding needs in the United States, education funding needs, infrastructure needs, whatever it may be? And I say if you’re not going to do it out of the goodness of your heart, then you better do it out of your national security interests and your financial interests because it’s going to cost you 1000 times more, and I can give you example after example after example.We’re sending a message that food security is critical to stability and peace around the world.”

Brian Sikes, Board Chair, President & CEO, Cargill
“When farmers succeed, we all succeed. When they have the tools and support to farm sustainably, our food system is stronger. When they’re more productive, there’s more food to go around. And when their goods move freely across borders, the world can be a more peaceful and prosperous place for everyone.”

“From our place at the center of the global food supply chain, Cargill is proud to help farmers win and the world prosper. As we work together to nourish a growing population, we’re committed as ever to ending hunger as we know it; building a more connected, sustainable, and resilient food system; and making food a force for good in the world. And we’re convinced that agriculture is how we’ll get it done.”

Jose Fernandez, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment,U.S. Department of State
“Climate change is affecting not only lives and properties, but it’s also affecting everything that we do on foreign policy.We’ve seen it already undermining stability in countries around the world. Look at what’s happening to Central America and all the flooding that has affected its agriculture which is leading people to have to leave their countries. The NSA has called climate change the existential challenge of our time. And we’ve got to take action before this leads to irreversible damage. So, we’re working on a number of initiatives, but something that I always try, and highlight is the fact that this is not only a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for us to lead.”

Scott Nathan, CEO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
“The United States needing to show up is really the motivating force behind the creation of the Development Finance Corporation, the modernized development finance institution to the United States. The idea was to support the private sector around the world with the financing tools we have to make economic and development impact and support our foreign policy goals. Those two things are inextricably linked, and through the tools that we have to support private sector investment, and support development across all sectors: infrastructure, health care, food security, energy and support for small business. We’re offering an alternative to what the developing world has seen over the last few decades. We want to show up and fill the global infrastructure gap with a high-quality, high standard offering that reflects our values along with the belief that the private sector is the engine to alleviate poverty around the world.”

Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
“In Africa, the US is supporting 70,000 health clinics on the continent, 290,000 healthcare workers and 3,000 labs that exist because of the investment of American taxpayers. All of that has accrued to the immediate benefit of those who have been suffering from the scourge of AIDS. We know that we brought down transmission of that horrific disease significantly. And famously, we have helped to save 25 million lives in Africa because of PEPFAR investments.”

Mary Maker, UN Goodwill Ambassador, UNHCR Representative
“When you cross the border line, there is no going back. When you cross those lines as a child and you watch your mother and your parents become vulnerable, you know that it is over. Have you ever seen your mother cry? And you hold the hem of her dress? You know that she’s grappling with this idea of home. What is home? From that time moving forward, you know that you will never be called South Sudanese, you’re going to become a refugee. An identity that you have to grapple with for the next 10, 20 years. That was my life.  When I first crossed the border line into Kenya. I knew there was no going back, and I could see it in my mother’s eyes. She was struggling to accept that reality. Because for you to leave home and take another country, it’s a hard thing. And I think most people do not understand that.”

Liz Schrayer, President and CEO, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
“It’s a distinct honor to be in Wilmington today for USGLC’s 7th annual Mid-Atlantic Summit – not only with hundreds of leaders from across the business, veteran, and non-profit communities – but with Senator Chris Coons, whose remarkable leadership in the U.S. Senate and around the world is delivering for America and for Delaware. His leading voice, alongside Congresswoman Blunt Rochester and Senator Carper, could not be more important for why investing in development and diplomacy matters for the security and economic interest of Delaware families.”

“As just one example of Senator Coons’ extraordinary leadership, just this past week, the Senator was instrumental in securing $9 billion in critical humanitarian assistance that will literally save millions of lives. This is a big deal.”


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.