Taking Economic Statecraft to the Next Level

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo Participates in the Swearing in of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on September 13, 2019
Deputy Secretary Sullivan officiates the swearing in of Under Secretary Krach.

Taking Economic Statecraft to the Next Level

Earlier this week, I was deeply moved with gratitude as more than 350 close friends, new friends and colleagues, and long-time business associates joined my family and me as I was ceremonially sworn in here at the State Department as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. It was a great occasion to be able to thank President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for this opportunity a lifetime to give back this great nation which has given so much to my family and me.

I have been blessed with the “American Dream.” And I have had the good fortune to witness its magic in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people that I have worked with. It’s a great honor to now, as Deputy Secretary John Sullivan said, serve as an Ambassador for that Dream and lead our economic diplomacy around the world.

I thanked my many new colleagues in the E Family and State Department for welcoming me, for teaching me, and for being patient as I got my sea legs. I have truly never met a more committed, talented, and courageous group of individuals. They represent what is best about our country and it is my great privilege and honor to serve by their side. 

Secretary Pompeo has challenged our E team with the mission of championing the development and execution of a proactive Global Economic Security Strategy that is an extension of our National Security Strategy Platform. As the Secretary has often noted, economic security is national security, dedicated to the mission of protecting the American Dream.

To secure this dream, we must proactively address the economic challenges that are at our doorstep. To accomplish this task, we must strengthen our partnerships with our friends and allies, better leverage the innovation and resources of the private sector, and amplify the moral high ground of our American values. 

The stakes are high. The world wants America to lead, and to protect the values of the American Dream, because it remains a beacon of light and hope around the world. That dream is built on the principles expressed by our very first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, when he wrote, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is our solemn duty to make sure that this dream remains the hope of all free people around the world. Every element of our national strength must be brought to bear on this task -- our ideals, our entrepreneurial drive, our industrious spirit, and our insistence on fair play, not just for ourselves, but for other nations as well.

Implementing an economic plan of this magnitude cannot be done alone. It is a team sport. It will require the synergistic effects across the entire State Department, our agencies, all three branches of our federal government, as well as our state and local governments, and perhaps most of all with our powerful private sector and our closest allies. “One team, one mission, one future” is not just a slogan, it must be our way of work and our way of life.

My life’s work has been focused on creating innovative companies by building high-performance teams -- and then empowering them to pursue opportunities and accomplish things they never imagined possible. I believe the team with the best people wins, and that diversity of thought is the catalyst for genius. This bodes well for the E Team -- and the American Team.

I will give it everything I have. And as I undertake this task, I ask each of you for your help and your prayers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for your faith, your support, your trust and your friendship. I will never forget that day. 

About the Author: Keith Krach took the oath of office as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State on June 21, 2019, and was ceremonially sworn-in on September 16, 2019.