Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) held its annual conference in Washington, DC. The day-long conference featured four major panels exploring the concept of smart power, particularly how development links to defense and security and the U.S. economy, and how the Obama administration is rolling out its new development policy.
MFAN Principal Ritu Sharma, President and Co-Founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, opened the first session, “The Military Voice in Our National Security Toolkit” which featured a keynote from Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.
MFAN Principal Rob Mosbacher Jr. sat on the day’s second panel, “Development and Our Economy: Understanding the Link.” He spoke fluidly about his experience as the former President and CEO of OPIC. He also noted that the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on development is a huge step forward because it places a premium on investment, trade, and economic growth as drivers of sustainable development.
Unquestionably the biggest draw of the day was the “mega-conference” featuring Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, Secretary of Treasury Geithner, USAID Administrator Shah, and MCC CEO Yohannes. Secretary Clinton said, “We’re making very clear that development is an integral part of U.S. national security policy and part of our integrated approach.” Administrator Shah noted that the PPD creates a “clear roadmap for how to rebuild and reconstitute a premier development agency” in reference to strengthening USAID.
MFAN Co-Chair George Ingram closed the conference.
See @ModernizeAid tweets for additional coverage and check back tomorrow for more on the conference.