About the Author: Farah Pandith is the Special Representative to Muslim Communities.
In response to President Obama's Cairo speech in June 2009, prominent Americans from the private sector have joined with the State Department to form Partners for a New Beginning (PNB). Led by Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Vice-Chairs Walter Isaacson (CEO, Aspen Institute) and Muhtar Kent (Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO), PNB brings together a dozen eminent Americans to engage Muslim communities globally on the basis of mutual interest, mutual respect, and mutual responsibility. This morning in New York, Partners for a New Beginning inaugurated its full Steering Committee. The members are:
• Mr. Tarek Abdel-Meguid, Founding Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners
• Ms. Cathleen Black, President, Hearst Magazines
• Ms. Jean Case, Chief Executive Officer, The Case Foundation
• Mr. John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc.
• Mr. Kenneth Cohen, Chairman, ExxonMobil Foundation; VP of Public Affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation
• Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO, CARE USA
• Mr. Stephen Heintz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
• Mr. Andrew Liveris, Chairman, and CEO, The Dow Chemical Company
• Mr. John Mack, Chairman, Morgan Stanley
• Mr. Paul Otellini, President and CEO, Intel Corporation
• Dr. Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core
• Dr. Ruth Simmons, President, Brown University
These leaders will be developing new partnerships to deepen U.S. ties with Muslim communities around the world in four key areas -- economic opportunity, science and technology, education, and exchange -- by using their expertise, relationships, and access to resources to build public-private partnerships and private-private partnerships.
This morning at the Clinton Global Initiative, PNB announced commitments to improve the lives of up to 500,000 people by providing increased access to finance, improved business capacity and development services, greater educational opportunities for students and teachers, enhanced physical and virtual exchange programs, and new science and technology solutions across the PNB priority geographical areas of Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and West Bank/Gaza.
Backed by the full support of the Secretary, PNB is exactly the kind of innovative, cross-sector, collaborative partnership that the United States is known for, and we are excited to work in partnership with some of America's most eminent leaders to fulfill the promise of a new beginning and translate it into positive benefits on the ground. As Secretary Clinton said when she first announced PNB on April 27th, “I think that this is one of those occasions in the diplomatic history of our country that we will look back on and say that that made a difference...This is a key element of our national strategy, and I am very grateful to the leadership of this effort and all who will participate in it.”
Please watch the welcome remarks from the Secretary to the PNB Steering Committee, and if you are interested, please reach out to us to get involved, because we are eager to work with any new partners interested in joining the effort. To connect with PNB leadership, you can reach Rob Lalka in the Office of Global Partnership Initiatives (S/GPI) via e-mail.