Secretary of State – Tony Blinken
Department of State

Tony Blinken

Secretary of State

Serves as the President’s chief foreign affairs advisor and carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the United States.

The USGLC has worked closely with Blinken over his decades of service on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, which has been anchored in a long history of support for diplomacy and development and commitment to a bipartisan tradition in foreign policy. On October 14th, 2020, USGLC CEO Liz Schrayer interviewed Blinken, a senior policy advisor on the Biden campaign, about the candidate’s foreign policy priorities. The entire interview can be viewed here.

Past statements on development, diplomacy, and U.S. global leadership:

On US Global Leadership:  During the 2020 campaign, Blinken frequently observed the “world doesn’t tend to organize itself,” saying that if the United States was not leading, then “either someone else is doing it, and probably not in a way that advances our own interests and values, or maybe just as bad, no one is.”

On Diplomacy and Development:  As Deputy Secretary of State, Blinken declared in a speech at the Center for New American Security, “We must lead with all the instruments of American power – with determined diplomacy, an ever-ready military, our economic might, and the powerful attraction of American innovation, science, education, and culture.”

On Foreign Assistance:  When asked about a Biden Administration’s views during the campaign, Blinken said, “We’d bring aid back to the center of our foreign policy — the emphasis would be on diplomacy, on democracy, and on development.”

On Alliances:  In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations as Deputy Secretary of State, Blinken said, “We don’t work with other nations as a luxury, or as charity. The problems we face today are notoriously resistant to unilateral solutions. We cannot build a wall tall enough to stop the oceans from rising or our planet from warming. We can’t bolt a gate tight enough to stop the spread of disease or break the allure of violent extremism. If we stepped back from the global stage, Americans of all stripes would be worse off.”

On Global Humanitarian Crises:  As Deputy Secretary of State, Blinken led efforts to address the growing global humanitarian crises, saying in remarks addressing the Global Philanthropy Forum, “Our collective responsibility is to adapt and strengthen the international humanitarian system—honestly confronting its shortcomings while preserving the norms and laws fundamental to its construction: international humanitarian law and principles, civilian and refugee protection, and, of course, the foundation of human rights.”

On Climate Change:  During the 2020 campaign, Blinken called climate change “the one truly existential issue that we face. It has to be and under a Biden administration, would be a number one priority.”

On the Northern Triangle:  Referring to the Alliance for Prosperity led by Vice President Biden, Blinken said, “The Vice President has a plan to build significantly on that initiative over four years with basically a $4 billion regional strategy that would require countries to contribute their own resources, their own commitments to undertake concrete reforms that make them more attractive places for their own people. That’s the kind of thing that’s both smart and potentially effective and it’s clearly in our interest.”

On China:  During the campaign, Blinken said, “China poses a growing challenge, arguably the biggest challenge, we face from another nation state: economically, technologically, militarily, even diplomatically. And, you know, the relationship has adversarial aspects, competitive aspects, but also cooperative ones. So I think the question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘What is the most effective strategy to protect and advance our security, our prosperity, our values when it comes to engaging with China?’ And I think the Vice President would tell you that we have to start by putting ourselves in a position of strength from which to engage China so that the relationship moves forward more on our terms than on theirs.”

On Working with Congress:  Blinken has often spoken about the value of Congress and the President working closely together, saying in his confirmation testimony for Deputy Secretary of State, “our foreign policy is more effective and sustainable when it benefits from strong Congressional engagement and oversight. Even when there are disagreements, I know firsthand and from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue the imperative of open dialogue and working together.”