Showcasing the Secretary’s Award for Corporate Excellence

3 minutes read time
A two photo collage, left is group of women in traditional African attire, clapping as they line the street into a brick compound labelled Alaffia; right is an African women working on a sewing machine.
The winners of the 2018 Secretary's Award for Corporate Excellence, Alaffia and PVH Corp.

Showcasing the Secretary’s Award for Corporate Excellence

When it comes to spreading global prosperity, sharing American values, and setting high standards for global human rights, U.S. companies are some of our best Ambassadors. That’s why, since 1999, the Secretary of State has recognized companies that uphold American values with the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). This fall, we’ll honor two companies for excellence in sustainable operations and – for the first time – women’s economic empowerment.

Employees in the beginning stages of making shea butter at the Alaffia village in Sokodé, Togo.

This Administration has made women’s economic empowerment a priority, because the President and the Secretary recognize the significant opportunity for economic growth that closing the global gender gap represents. In fact, it could increase worldwide GDP by as much as $28 trillion by 2025.  Empowering women to lead in every industry and at every level isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the right economic policy. That’s why I am so excited to recognize the 2018 ACE winners: Alaffia, for their dedication to women’s economic empowerment in Togo, and PVH Corp., for their commitment to sustainable operations in Ethiopia. Alaffia’s work in women’s economic empowerment represents the best of American companies that are looking to the future and doing the right thing, and PVH Corp. innovatively exemplifies how a company can invest for the long term in ways that support economic and responsible growth.

PVH Corp.’s apparel factory in Hawassa, Ethiopia, which is powered by renewable energy, will provide approximately 60,000 Ethiopians with work.

As Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, I lead a team of 200 talented women and men with the support of over 1,500 economic officers all over the world. The Department is a gateway for American business to reach global markets. One of my key goals is to better connect the State Department with the private sector. We work to promote opportunities for U.S. businesses overseas and secure economic prosperity at home. For example, in 2017, U.S. exports in goods and services increased by 5.5 percent. The American economy is getting stronger every day. 

The Secretary’s Award for Corporate Excellence is a way to honor U.S. companies that are helping to make that economic growth possible. It recognizes companies that are bringing prosperity and positive corporate values to the communities where they do business, and to the American economy overall. We look forward to this year’s ceremony to honor our awardees on October 5, 2018.

About the Author: Manisha Singh serves as Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Editor’s Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.