In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to champion cross-sectoral partnerships as a cornerstone of her 21st Century Statecraft. In support of her priorities, the Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) focused on four flagship initiatives last year:
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Over the past year, our work on clean cookstoves has continued to thrive. In 2011, we built the Alliance infrastructure and strategic base, launched major communications initiatives, and began a wide range of operational priorities, much of which was either led by the U.S. government or made possible because of our strong commitment.
In May, actress Julia Roberts joined the Alliance as Global Ambassador. Throughout the year, she has helped to elevate this issue to the world stage through awareness raising efforts, including a Mother's Day Op-Ed co-authored by Secretary Clinton, and a statement issued in recognition of World Pneumonia Day.
Over the past year, it has been a privilege to continue to work with Secretary Clinton on this effort. As I have said previously, her support has been steadfast. In July, I joined her as she hosted a clean cookstoves event in Chennai, India and she never misses an opportunity to raise the issue with foreign leaders from around the world.
In September, I also had the opportunity to stand on stage at CGI as the Alliance's Culinary Ambassador Jose Andres provided a report to President Clinton and Secretary Clinton on the progress on the Alliance, including new commitments by the U.S. government and our partners.
And in December, the Alliance received UNDP's 2011 South-South Cooperation Award for Partnership, presented to the development solutions that best show the cooperative spirit of South-South cooperation, in a broad-based and egalitarian collaboration.
2011 also saw a number of operational advancements for the Alliance, including the publication of a first ever sector-wide strategy.
Clearly, it has been a busy and productive year for the Alliance. Our joint efforts have positioned the cookstoves sector to achieve unprecedented global progress and, more specifically, positioned the Alliance to achieve its ambitious goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves by 2020.
Looking forward to 2012, I am confident that this momentum will continue, under the leadership of Alliance Executive Director Radha Muthiah, and with the continued support of our ever-expanding team of cross-sectoral partners.
Partners for a New Beginning
In 2011, Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) established local chapters in nine countries: Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, and the West Bank/Gaza. These chapters met in June at the State Department and in December at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul, and provided support for over 70 projects based on local priorities. All of these efforts support PNB's mission to develop new business opportunities and public-private partnerships to promote economic opportunity, education, exchange, and science and technology.
We are also seeing strong commitment from the U.S. private sector to redouble efforts for economic opportunity and job creation across the MENA region. For example, in December, PNB Vice-Chair Muhtar Kent announced that the Coca-Cola Company is spending $980 million on the largest-ever investment by a multinational company in the Middle East's consumer goods sector. This was the first investment stemming from plans Kent had announced at the World Economic Forum Dead Sea Special Session to invest $5 billion in the region over the next 10 years.
As we look forward to 2012, we will continue to work with the U.S. private sector and the PNB local chapters to further deepen ties, while seeking new business opportunities. We will also focus on ensuring that PNB and related efforts become self-sustaining.
In May, we convened the first annual Secretary's Global Diaspora Forum, where Secretary Clinton launched the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance -- or IdEA. This innovative partnership platform brings together diaspora communities, the private sector, and public institutions in a collaborative process.
In June, Secretary Clinton announced that we are partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID), Digicel, Scotiabank, and others on the Caribbean IdEA Marketplace. The U.S. government, through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is providing $50 million in support for this business plan competition for emerging diaspora entrepreneurs that will officially "open for business" on March 1.
In November, the State Department joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Univision Networks, Kauffman Foundation, and m-Via to host Unleashing IdEA, a diaspora event launching Global Entrepreneurship Week. At the event, Secretary Clinton announced that we are now partnering with the IDB, Univision Networks, m-Via, and others to engage diaspora entrepreneurs from Central America and Mexico to support the development of diaspora-centered partnerships that promote trade and investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the region.
This partnership -- aptly called "La Idea" -- will establish a regional business competition initiative to support business and social entrepreneurs from the Latin American diaspora. Aimed to promote trade and investment between the United States and the region, this competition will support innovators whose projects meet the policy and credit requirements of all the partners. The U.S. government is committing $100 million from OPIC to support La Idea.
Building on these efforts, I am confident that 2012 will prove to be an even more exciting year for diaspora. There is great anticipation for the 2nd Global Diaspora Forum, which will be held in Washington, D.C. next June. We are also working on a number of initiatives to engage diaspora communities via innovative means -- including the development of a diaspora volunteer corps and a platform for diaspora philanthropy.
In January, we convened over 80 leaders from government and the investment, corporate, NGO, and academic communities to discuss the current state of impact investing. Based on the recommendations garnered from this convening, we designed an initiative focusing on four areas: policy change and advocacy, thought leadership, building the next generation of leaders, and developing an operational model that will showcase true cross-sectoral engagement.
In the first quarter of 2012, we will convene a Global Impact Economy Forum to launch deliverables associated with our efforts around investing with impact. The forum will also highlight how and why trend-setting corporations, investors, governments, and innovators are deploying smart investment and business strategies and models that yield sustainable commercial, social and environmental returns.
In 2011, GPI also advanced a number of other meaningful partnership activities, including:
· SIFE World Cup: In October, I served as a judge at Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) World Cup 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, where Secretary Clinton announced that we are partnering to co-host SIFE World Cup 2012 in Washington, D.C. The SIFE World Cup is an opportunity for students around the world to present the results of their community outreach projects to a group of prestigious, international business leaders.
· World Food Program: In October, GPI partnered with the World Food Program to host the George McGovern Leadership Award Ceremony and Global Hunger Conference at the State Department. Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton joined World Food Program USA in honoring Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates for their contributions to reducing global hunger through the Partnerships for Progress (P4P) program.
· Tunisia Partnerships Forum: In November, the State Department convened the Tunisia Partnerships Forum. This forum brought together top innovators, investors, diaspora leaders, and 21 Tunisians to discuss opportunities in the three sectors that the Tunisian private sector and the new government suggested: tourism, franchising, and information communications technology. In 2012, we plan to develop a stronger network of Tunisian-American leaders by working directly with the Ambassador from Tunisia to the U.S. along with colleagues at OPIC, USAID, and elsewhere in the U.S. government.
· LAUNCH: In partnership with the State Department, NIKE, USAID and NASA, LAUNCH identifies and showcases innovators through a series of competitions and forums. In November, GPI helped to facilitate, and supported communications efforts around the LAUNCH: Energy Challenge at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GPI will continue to support LAUNCH efforts in 2012, specifically for the upcoming Health challenge.
· Global Entrepreneurship Summit: In December, at the second Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Vice President Biden announced that the State Department is partnering with the Kauffman Foundation to make future summits the signature event of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
· LGBT Fund and Forum: In December, Secretary Clinton announced the creation of the LGBT Global Equality Fund. GPI is partnering with others within the State Department to convene a related forum in the Spring of 2012.
· Partnership Database and Online Toolkit: GPI has developed a comprehensive partnership database and online toolkit that aims to streamline the partnership development and vetting process for the State Department.
· NeXXt: GPI is assisting the Office of the Science & Technology Advisor on NeXXt, an initiative designed to bring young women from Muslim-majority countries to the U.S. for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education at women's colleges.
· Tomodachi Initiative: GPI is supporting the Tomodachi Initiative that Secretary Clinton announced in the aftermath of Japan's earthquakes and tsunami. This initiative will focus on partnerships and programs to empower Japan's youth and entrepreneurs.
· Country Expos: Building on the Shanghai Expo in 2010, GPI continues to support future expos in Korea in 2012, Italy in 2015, and the United States in 2020.
As these examples illustrate, 2011 has been an extremely successful and productive year for partnerships throughout the State Department. As I reflect on our mutual accomplishments, I am impressed by the breadth and depth of our efforts, and energized by the possibilities that lay ahead for 2012 and beyond.