March 9, 2021

Virtual Roundtable Recap: Global Partnerships, Local Impact in Anderson, IN

Today, a Zoom room full of elected officials, community leaders, and business and non-profit executives agreed—America’s agriculture and international affairs programs play a critical role for communities like Anderson. At a virtual roundtable hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Cargill, a dozen participants from the Anderson area discussed the local impact of these global programs, including how they strengthen American global leadership and help to create jobs, feed the hungry, and reduce poverty across Indiana and around the world.

Here’s what some of these leaders had to say:

  • Becca Smith, Director, State and Local Government Relations, Cargill: “At Cargill, our purpose is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. As a company with deep roots in Indiana and across the Midwest, we know these efforts start at home. Indianans depend on agricultural exports to support the economy and jobs, and countries around the world—particularly developing ones—depend on Indiana’s exports to feed their communities. By helping connect Indiana farmers and businesses to global markets, we’re doing our part to ensure access to nutritious foods from areas of surplus to areas of need, while also supporting American jobs and our economic recovery.”
  • John Pistole, President, Anderson University: “Economic security is tantamount to national security. If there is a mass migration of people who are starving because of food insecurity, then that can disrupt the political stability and lead to opportunities for terrorists—whether it’s the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, or whoever—to take over a large area. And so that food insecurity can be so critical to address in fragile regions, particularly in terms of key human values, but to also help the U.S. in terms of national security.”

The conversation was led by Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and senior advisor to USGLC: “As I learned in my years of public service, it is important for America to lead in the world because it strengthens our country, helps our economy at home, and protects our national security. Agriculture and education both feed into that. As one of the country’s great agricultural states, Indiana exports everything from grains to livestock to specialty crops—and if we didn’t have the export markets we do, we wouldn’t have a vital revenue source for Indiana farmers and businesses and the economy. With world-class colleges and universities like Purdue University and Anderson University, the ability to bring in international students is a major boost to Indiana’s economy, while also helping to spread our American values, strengthen our global ties, and make us a positive, relevant force in the world.”

Statewide Network Supporting Global Leadership

Indiana has an active State Advisory Committee of more than 140 business, faith, military, government, and community leaders committed to strong investments in U.S. global engagement to help keep America safe and strengthen Indiana’s economy. They include:

  • Greg Ballard – Former Mayor of Indianapolis
  • Courtney Kingery – CEO, Indiana Soybean Alliance
  • Katie Glick – Vice President of Engagement, Bar Communications
  • Lee Hamilton – U.S. House of Representatives (1965-1999)
  • Kevin Brinegar – President & CEO, Indiana Chamber of Commerce

You can find a full list of Indiana’s State Advisory Committee members here:

Global Engagement Supports Indiana Impact

The numbers speak for themselves. The strength of America’s global connections directly impact the Indiana economy and local jobs:

  • Indiana exported more than $39.4 billion worth of goods in 2019, with international trade supporting more than 746,700 jobs in the state
  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $168 millionin exports from Indiana companies since 1992
  • 29,083international students were enrolled in Indiana colleges and universities and contributed $985 million to the Indiana economy in 2019

Building the Future

Eight Indiana professionals were recently selected to join nearly 100 other young leaders from 33 states as part in the USGLC’s inaugural Next Gen Leaders Network. Through this year-long program, participants will receive leadership and advocacy training, interact with policymakers and opinion leaders, and draw connections between U.S. global engagement and their own communities:

  • Sukaynah Abu-Mulaweh – Systems Engineer, Franklin Electric; Fort Wayne, IN
  • Erika Camarillo  Transitional Foster Care Site Supervisor of Indianapolis, Bethany Christian Services; Indianapolis, IN
  • Pete Cowden  Veterans Service Officer, Wayne Township Trustee – Indianapolis; Indianapolis, IN
  • Samantha Faulkner  Vice President of Business Services, Sextons Creek; Indianapolis, IN
  • Sam Gonzalez – Vice President, Sextons Creek; Indianapolis, IN
  • Lauren Krull  International Exchange Program Coordinator, Northern Nevada International Center; Fort Wayne, IN
  • Amy Maxwell – Manager, Strategy and Marketing Communications, Franklin Electric; Poneto, IN
  • Will Thrasher – Global Trade and Logistics Manager, Franklin Electric; Warsaw, IN

Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO: “[T]his next generation is truly our future. Instead of seeing borders, they see solutions by working with partners around the world on issues like climate, hunger, global health and so many others that matter to American kitchen table issues. By investing in them, we are building a new cadre of advocates ready to educate policymakers about why leading globally matters locally.”

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.