November 18, 2009

Global Engagement Through Partnerships

President Obama turned the page in America's global engagement strategy with his "A New Beginning" speech in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4, 2009, declaring that All these things must be done in partnership. Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments; community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life.”

Secretary Clinton reinforced this message at her Council on Foreign Relations speech in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2009, with the following words:

“The question is not whether our nation can or should lead, but how it will lead in the 21st century. Rigid ideologies and old formulas don’t apply. We need a new mindset about how America will use its power to safeguard our nation, expand shared prosperity, and help more people in more places live up to their God-given potential.

President Obama has led us to think outside the usual boundaries. He has launched a new era of engagement based on common interests, shared values, and mutual respect. Going forward, capitalizing on America’s unique strengths, we must advance those interests through partnership, and promote universal values through the power of our example and the empowerment of people.

In this way, we can forge the global consensus required to defeat the threats, manage the dangers, and seize the opportunities of the 21st century. America will always be a world leader as long as we remain true to our ideals and embrace strategies that match the times. So we will exercise American leadership to build partnerships and solve problems that no nation can solve on its own, and we will pursue policies to mobilize more partners and deliver results.”

To further this new vision for global engagement, Secretary Clinton has launched the Global Partnership Initiative to catalyze new partnerships with the private sector and civil society. Led by the Special Representative for Global Partnerships, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, the Global Partnership Initiative is leading the Department of State into this new era of engagement through partnerships with businesses, non-profits, academia, faith groups, and diaspora communities.

The Department of State has formed numerous new partnerships over recent months on issues like food security, women’s empowerment, and global health; it has provided new guidance for partnering with the U.S. Government, and it has opened its doors to partnership proposals.

As President Obama stated in an address at the Clinton Global Initiative on September 22, 2009, “Around the world, even as we pursue a new era of engagement with other nations, we're embracing a broader engagement -- new partnerships between societies and citizens, community organizations, business, faith-based groups.” In this spirit, the Department of State welcomes your proposals for potential global partnerships.

The Summit on Entrepreneurship

In Cairo, President Obama announced that the U.S. will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to identify how we can deepen ties between those focused on advancing entrepreneurship in Muslim communities around the world. Early next year, the President will host this summit in Washington to convene successful entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and leaders of entrepreneurship networks, non-profits, foundations, and businesses who are invested in promoting business or social entrepreneurship in Muslim communities.

By supporting these networks of business and social entrepreneurs, the summit will promote economic growth, job creation, the development of vibrant civil societies, and the spread of opportunity and prosperity around the world. We are particularly interested in welcoming new partners from the private sector and civil society to work with us on the Summit on Entrepreneurship, and so if you have nominations for potential delegates, please submit them via the website for this summit,

If you are interested in partnering with the U.S. Government on the Summit activities, sponsoring related events in Washington or elsewhere, or developing new public-private partnerships that will advance the Presidential Summit’s goals, please write to us at
Goals for the 2010 Summit include:

  • Highlighting successful social entrepreneurs and business entrepreneurs;
  • New and strengthened global networks of business and social entrepreneurs;
  • Enhanced partnerships that link capital, business development services, and market access that enable entrepreneurs to build high-growth and high-impact ventures;
  • Increased support for social entrepreneurs who fill the gaps between government and the private sector;
  • Recommendations for how Americans can partner with those focused on entrepreneurship development in Muslim communities worldwide; and
  • A plan for ways of sustaining focus on entrepreneurship and support for small- and medium-sized enterprises—especially at the local and regional level.

Delegate invitations will be issued on January 11, 2010, and invitees will be required to confirm acceptance of their invitation by January 25, 2010.

New Global Partnerships to Advance Cairo’s “New Beginning”

Secretary Clinton delivered a major speech on November 3, 2009, in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the Forum for the Future, an initiative of the countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa region (BMENA), the G8 countries, and civil society and private sector groups. She reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to broad engagement with Muslim communities around the world and outlined concrete steps the United States is taking to follow up on the “New Beginning” that President Obama launched in Cairo.
Secretary Clinton focused on partnerships to promote civil society, entrepreneurship and economic development, educational opportunity, scientific and technological collaboration, women’s empowerment, and interfaith cooperation. As she stated, “Five months ago in Cairo, President Obama called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities around the world – a relationship that is comprehensive rather than focused on a few political and security issues, a relationship based on partnership between people as well as government, and a relationship that lasts for the long term.”

Examples of these new initiatives include:

Entrepreneurship and Job Creation
The United States will be a partner in advancing entrepreneurship, job creation and economic opportunity in Muslim communities by providing tools and investing in pioneering local stake-holders and programs. These partnerships will emphasize local ownership and lasting results. Projects include:

  • Convening an Entrepreneurship Summit in Washington, D.C. in early 2010 to bring together innovators and leaders in Muslim communities around the world and America’s business leaders to advance entrepreneurship and create economic opportunity.
  • Supporting the launch of a Global Virtual Entrepreneurship Network to connect entrepreneurs with each other as well as a broad range of stake-holders, including investors, mentor networks and business support services, educational institutions, NGOs, and foundations before the next Forum for the Future.
  • Fostering Multilateral Partnerships with efforts such as investments in the International Finance Corporation’s Private Enterprise Partnership (PEP-MENA II) and in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s program supporting of human capital development.
  • Initiating Youth:Work, a five-year, $30 million USAID project to meet the needs of vulnerable youth in Jordan and their communities, in collaboration with the Government of Jordan, the private sector, and NGO partners.
  • Launching a $76 million comprehensive, multi-sector initiative in Yemen to increase economic opportunities, improve delivery of social services, and enhance local governance and civic participation.

Science and TechnologyThe United States will be a partner in laying the foundation of knowledge economies that will spur innovation, and will support societies in grappling with their greatest economic and environmental challenges. Initiatives include:

  • Establishing the U.S. Science Envoy Program in which three of America’s most prominent scientists, Dr Ahmed Zewail, Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Elias Zerhouni, will travel to countries in North Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia to engage their counterparts, deepen and develop partnerships in all areas of science and technology, and foster meaningful collaboration to address common challenges and realized shared opportunities.
  • Debuting the Global Technology and Innovation Fund through which the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will catalyze and facilitate private-sector investments in programs in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa in technology, education, telecom, media, business services and financial technology and green technologies.

Education and ExchangesThe United States is committed to supporting education to prepare young people throughout the world to seize the opportunities of the 21st century. Initiatives include:

  • Contributing $45 million to the Government of Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) to expand partnerships and exchanges, to support infrastructure upgrades and teacher training, and to increase access to education, especially for young people, women, and those living in vulnerable areas.
  • Sponsoring the BMENA Community and Technical College Grants Program to create partnerships between U.S. community colleges and community and technical colleges in the BMENA region.
  • Allocating $7.25 million for Higher-Ed Scholarships for underserved secondary school students in the BMENA region to attend American-accredited universities.
  • Investing $12.5 million in USAID’s new Youth Education Project in Morocco to provide quality educational services for out-of-school youth and to develop policies and institutional networks to facilitate the delivery of education.

Civil Society 2.0The United States is launching Civil Society 2.0, an initiative to empower grassroots civil society organizations around the world by helping them use digital technology. It will include:

  • Deploying a team of experienced technologists to work with civil society organizations and provide training and support to build digital capacity.
  • Funding new empowerment connection technologies with $5 million for pilot programs to bolster the new media and networking capabilities of civil society organizations, as well as online learning, in the Middle East and North Africa.

Women’s Empowerment
Empowering women and girls and expanding their opportunities to participate fully in all aspects of their societies, are core priorities of the United States. Efforts include:

  • Providing initial funding for the launch of the BMENA Regional Gender Institute, which will make grants, conduct research, promote scholarship related to gender issues and encourage active participation of diverse groups.
  • Allocating $2 million to fund Innovative Women’s Empowerment Programs that will strengthen women’s participation in all aspects of society and promote women’s equality in the Middle East and North Africa.

Interfaith EngagementThe United States has a longstanding history of openness and respect for all faiths, including Islam, and seeks to deepen mutual understanding and create new partnerships with Muslim communities around the world. The United States will partner with Muslim-majority host countries in different regions to hold biannual Interfaith Working Groups that will bring together leaders across faith communities, government, civil society, and the private sector to create actionable plans for addressing common challenges affecting all of our communities.