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Posts Tagged ‘QDDR’

I just heard Donald Trump say that Hillary Clinton was the “worst secretary of state in the history of our country.”   Apparently he suffers from a linguistic disorder that causes him to make phonemic substitutions.  A phoneme is a meaningful unit of sound.  Phonemic production establishes differences in meaning between words.

There is one phonemic difference between the words /fərst/ {first} and /wərst/ {worst}.  It occurs with the initial consonant.   Mr. Trump’s linguistic slip belies the facts.  In two important instances, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was first.

Six years ago this month, Hillary Clinton announced the first sweeping review of interdepartmental and inter-agency task coordination ever conducted by that department.  The purpose was to improve efficiency and delivery by detecting replications of responsibilities and identifying needed interdepartmental and inter-agency partnerships.  It was monumental, daunting, scary for many at first, but now is an established practice to be conducted every four years.

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) Hillary instituted was modeled after the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) conducted regularly by the Department of Defense with which Hillary became familiar during her service on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  I have always thought that had she been elected in 2008 she might well have requested such a review from every department.

To understand the enormity, within the department, of this review, one need only look at the two town hall meetings where she announced this undertaking.  She was the first secretary of state to call for a review of this kind in the history of the department and the country.

Hillary Clinton Announces Unprecedented QDDR at a Town Hall at the State Department

Hillary Clinton Announces QDDR at a Town Hall at USAID

As chief diplomat of the United States, the secretary of state oversees all foreign missions: embassies and consulates.  When the SOS visits foreign states, it is the our ambassador who acts as host, deploying staff to make necessary arrangements and providing needed support of all kinds.  Chiefs of mission get to meet “the boss” during these visits and at times when they are back on home ground if the secretary happens to be in DC at the time.

One thing they had never had a chance to do was to encounter each other in a collegial setting where they could meet and greet their counterparts around the globe and compare notes.  Hillary Clinton was the first secretary of state to convene all chiefs of mission for a conference here at home in the history of the department and the country.

Secretary Clinton Convenes the Inaugural Global Chiefs of Mission Conference: Media Coverage for February 2

These two important firsts left an indelible mark on the department that are historical and ensure continual improvement of departmental functioning and interdepartmental communication and coordination.

Not to be forgotten either is this first.  Hillary established this important post. Some (men) thought Hillary’s advocacy for women was a “soft” issue and not a strong, hard signature effort, but as Hillary continues to highlight on the campaign trail, the plight of a nation rests with the plight of its women.

Hillary Clinton Swears In Melanne Verveer Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

June 12, 2009

Far from the worst.  Hillary Clinton was the first!

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Hillary saw the need to incorporate technology in diplomacy early on and begins this chapter at TechCamp Vilnius,  the third of these training camps her State Department had held by  June 2011.  It consisted of two days of eleven-hour sessions devoted to showing how pro-democracy activists could circumvent government opposition tactics thwarting their organizing efforts.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at TechCamp Vilnius

Hillary first referred to what she came to call 21st century statecraft in two commencement addresses in New York in May 2009 and rapidly followed those with a Youtube on the subject.

2009 Remarks at the New York University Commencement Ceremony

Hillary at Barnard Today

When I graduated from college, diplomacy was mainly conducted by experts behind closed doors. They were primarily men. And very little of what they did was really visible to the rest of us. Today, diplomacy is no longer confined to the State Department or to diplomats in pin-striped suits. In this global age, we are engaging in 21st century statecraft, and it is carried out beyond the halls of government – in barrios and rural villages, in corporate boardrooms and halls of government as well, but also church basements, hospitals, union halls, civic and cultural centers, and even in the dorms and classrooms of colleges like this. The diplomacy of this age is fueled by personal engagement and interpersonal connections. And that’s where all of you come in. With new tools and technologies and with the first-rate education you’ve received, you now have the capacity to influence events in ways that no previous generation ever has… …with these social networking tools that you use every day to tell people you’ve gone to get a latte or you’re going to be running late, you can unite your friends through Facebook to fight human trafficking or child marriage, like the two recent college graduates in Colombia – the country – who organized 14 million people into the largest anti-terrorism demonstration in history, doing as much damage to the FARC terrorist network in a few weeks than had been done in years of military action. (Applause.) And you can organize through Twitter, like the undergraduates at Northwestern who launched a global fast to bring attention to Iran’s imprisonment of an American journalist. And we have two young women journalists right now in prison in North Korea, and you can get busy on the internet and let the North Koreans know that we find that absolutely unacceptable. (Applause.) These new tools are available for everyone. They are democratizing diplomacy. So over the next year, we will be creating Virtual Student Foreign Service Internships to partner American students with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy. And you can learn more about this initiative on the State Department website.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the commencement for Barnard College, in New York

Fully aware of the darker uses of technology,  she explains that the idea was to use mobile technology and social media to promote American values and interests, and to help civil society across the globe hold governments accountable, document abuses, and empower marginalized groups. Hillary reviews technology abuses by some governments such as shutting down the internet in times of upheaval as well as uses made by civil society during such periods – among them those recounted here in relation to the chapter on Iran.

Technology was integral to her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

Hillary Clinton Announces Unprecedented QDDR at a Town Hall at the State Department

Hillary Clinton Announces QDDR at a Town Hall at USAID

State Department Launches “Opinion Space”

Video: Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Townhall

Video: Secretary Clinton’s QDDR Town Hall at USAID

The Wikileaks publication of confidential documents and emails in 2010 precipitated a diplomatic firestorm that required what came to be called Hillary’s “charm offensive.”  Some world leaders took things in stride.  Others needed her personal reassurance.

Hillary Calling!

Upcoming: On Hillary Clinton’s Agenda

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to the Press on the Release of Confidential Documents

The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems. This Administration is advancing a robust foreign policy that is focused on advancing America’s national interests and leading the world in solving the most complex challenges of our time, from fixing the global economy, to thwarting international terrorism, to stopping the spread of catastrophic weapons, to advancing human rights and universal values. In every country and in every region of the world, we are working with partners to pursue these aims. So let’s be clear: this disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations, that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity… Now, I am aware that some may mistakenly applaud those responsible, so I want to set the record straight: There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people, and there is nothing brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends. There have been examples in history in which official conduct has been made public in the name of exposing wrongdoings or misdeeds. This is not one of those cases. In contrast, what is being put on display in this cache of documents is the fact that American diplomats are doing the work we expect them to do. They are helping identify and prevent conflicts before they start. They are working hard every day to solve serious practical problems – to secure dangerous materials, to fight international crime, to assist human rights defenders, to restore our alliances, to ensure global economic stability. This is the role that America plays in the world. This is the role our diplomats play in serving America. And it should make every one of us proud.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Before Bilaterals

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at OSCE Intervention

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Charming Slideshow: Hillary Clinton Among The “Dissed”

  You may recall that in chapter 16 about Libya Hillary mentions having had to recall former ambassador Gene Cretz because of credible threats against him.  These she lays at the feet of Manning, Assange, and Wikileaks.

Video & Text: Hillary Clinton’s Policy Speech on Internet Freedom *Updated 01.23.2010 with Chinese Translation of Text*

We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to our Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone. Franklin Roosevelt built on these ideas when he delivered his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. Now, at the time, Americans faced a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence. But the vision of a world in which all people enjoyed freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear transcended the troubles of his day. And years later, one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, worked to have these principles adopted as a cornerstone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… As I speak to you today, government censors somewhere are working furiously to erase my words from the records of history…*

Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks.  They’ve expunged words, names, and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”**

We’ll leave it here, with this speech, as Hillary does, knowing that every day, and probably especially again today as I post that link, people in countries where indeed authorities have tried to *erase her words” and **”erected electronic barriers” will find the words here even though they may be unable to access te State Department site. __________________________________________________________

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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Really?  Really????

On Iran Deal, Hillary Clinton Is In The Hiding

(Tuesday, November 26th, 2013)

Top Democrats have all chimed in over the interim deal reached by Iran, with some cautiously supporting the deal as a first step or publicly opposing it.

One voice has not been heard yet, the voice of the Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ….

SNIP

But since the deal was reached Saturday night, Hillary has not yet endorsed the deal or opposed it.

Hillary, who’s exploring a WH run following President Obama’s second term in office, is in a difficult situation. Nevertheless, a voice needed to be heard.

But since the deal was reached Saturday night, Hillary has not yet endorsed the deal or opposed it.

Hillary, who’s exploring a WH run following President Obama’s second term in office, is in a difficult situation. Nevertheless, a voice needed to be heard.

Read more >>>>

On Iran Deal, Hillary Clinton Is In The Hiding

(Tuesday, November 26th, 2013)

Top Democrats have all chimed in over the interim deal reached by Iran, with some cautiously supporting the deal as a first step or publicly opposing it.

One voice has not been heard yet, the voice of the Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

– See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/203064/on-iran-deal-hillary-clinton-is-in-the-hiding.html#sthash.JC02kOwY.dpuf

On Iran Deal, Hillary Clinton Is In The Hiding

(Tuesday, November 26th, 2013)

Top Democrats have all chimed in over the interim deal reached by Iran, with some cautiously supporting the deal as a first step or publicly opposing it.

One voice has not been heard yet, the voice of the Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

– See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/203064/on-iran-deal-hillary-clinton-is-in-the-hiding.html#sthash.JC02kOwY.dpuf

On Iran Deal, Hillary Clinton Is In The Hiding

(Tuesday, November 26th, 2013)

Top Democrats have all chimed in over the interim deal reached by Iran, with some cautiously supporting the deal as a first step or publicly opposing it.

One voice has not been heard yet, the voice of the Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

– See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/203064/on-iran-deal-hillary-clinton-is-in-the-hiding.html#sthash.JC02kOwY.dpuf

On Iran Deal, Hillary Clinton Is In The Hiding

(Tuesday, November 26th, 2013)

Top Democrats have all chimed in over the interim deal reached by Iran, with some cautiously supporting the deal as a first step or publicly opposing it.

One voice has not been heard yet, the voice of the Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

– See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/203064/on-iran-deal-hillary-clinton-is-in-the-hiding.html#sthash.JC02kOwY.dpuf

Then there is this follow-up from Jennifer Rubin.

Right Turn

On Iran, what say you Hillary?

By Jennifer Rubin November 25Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has another problem: What to say about Iran? The conservative America Rising is already taunting her with a “Hillary In Hiding” attack, noting that for one of the greatest secretaries of state in history (isn’t that what President Obama said?), she is depriving us of her wisdom on the single most important national security issue of our time– the potential for a nuclear-armed Iran.

Read more >>>>

First, she has made it clear that she will  begin giving the very personal campaign decision serious consideration next year.   Clear?

Second, I am sure Hillary is simply overwhelmed by Jennifer Rubin’s sudden appreciation of  her wisdom.  *Fanning Hillary’s face while holding smelling salts under her nose to revive her from a dead faint at this flattery from such unlikely quarters*

Third, back in early 2009, when she first arrived at the State Department,  there was gossip talk of Hillary being kept shrouded, in the shadows, in a burkha promoted by the likes of Dick Morris and Tina Brown among others.  The truth was that she was doing her typical Hillary thing, getting acquainted with her new environment, the people, the responsibilities, and the details.  I kept saying that she was devouring briefs, memos, and treaties,  and when she emerged from her cocoon she was eminently well-versed in all she had studied and decided to reorganize departmental and agency interactions via her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) which assessors of her legacy at the department have chosen to ignore.

Now we see the return of the Hillary in Hiding meme which went all viral today.  Just a quick reminder:  Hillary Rodham Clinton is a private citizen now and not obliged to comment on anything in particular unless she personally decides she wants to.   While she was Secretary of State, she had plenty to say about Iran.  The press would do well to delve into these archives and see what groundwork she laid for Secretary Kerry.

This archive contains some of what she had to say about Iran while she was Secretary of State.

Since she is under no further obligation to respond to the Iran deal as a private citizen,  she should be permitted the liberty all private citizens have to enjoy her Thanksgiving holiday with her family and not be pressured by unreasonable demands from the press.  Happy Thanksgiving, Mme. Secretary.  Have a lovely holiday and a relaxing weekend!

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

USAID Town Hall, posted with vodpod

Remarks At the Town Hall Meeting for USAID Employees on the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Rajiv Shah
USAID Administrator
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, DC
February 15, 2012

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Good. Thank you. Thank you. (Laughter.) What a great turnout. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today. I know we have many of our missions in a time zone appropriate way joining us today, so for those of you out there, welcome – for plugging in today to hear from Secretary Clinton. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce the Secretary. Before I do that, I just want to thank Pat Kennedy, Under Secretary Kennedy, who’s joining us today. I know we have a number of our colleagues from the State Department, from congressional offices, and from nearby institutions that care about development. Thank you for being here.And we didn’t plan to have this town hall the day after Valentine’s Day. But I’m glad we did, in part because we have a lot of love to share – (laughter) – and in part because we, yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, launched the gratitude blog. And if you haven’t had a chance yet to check this out, I hope you will go to the gratitude blog. We’ve already had, I think, something like a thousand hits and more than 50 entries that folks have put up in just the last 24 hours. And I was reading through it this morning, and it just gives you a sense of the unique range of things that our outstanding people do all around the world every single day in their own words and on behalf of their own colleagues. So please do check that out as we go forward here.

In that spirit, I wanted to offer a few Valentines as well to some of our people. We’re going to have a conversation today about some of the tough reforms that we’ve collectively put in place, and some of this work is not easy to pursue, but it is important to pursue in order to continue to elevate development as part of our foreign policy and national security strategy on behalf of this country. And that work is hard, so before we get into the really hard stuff, I wanted to offer a few visuals on what some of our people, who are real champions of these reforms, are actually accomplishing in practical terms.

First, in Haiti. Gary Juste in Haiti has been harnessing the power of innovation to transform Haiti into one of the world’s first mobile banking economies. He has personally drafted new language that goes into every single contract we – and grant we do to ensure that if there is a transfer of funds, we do it electronically, we do it on mobile phones. And as a result, there are millions of people today that are beginning to plug into a mobile banking system. And especially for rural women, it’s sometimes the first access they’ve had to actual financial services. That’s the kind of innovation, focus on technology, and willingness to do things differently in our actual grants and contracts that is so much a part of the reforms that we’re going to talk about. And it’s making a big difference in Haiti, it’s helping to fight corruption in Afghanistan, and next year we’re going to take this effort through the Better than Cash campaign to more than 20 countries worldwide with a range of international partners.

Next, I want to talk about Cathy Cozzarelli. Cathy – who those of you in our gender work and in Europe and Eurasia know – is an absolute leader in making sure that we mainstream gender in every single one of our grants and programs. And in addition to that, she has been spearheading an innovative regional approach to combat human trafficking in exactly the region where it’s growing fastest. As many as 500,000 people are trafficked annually in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Thanks to her efforts, working together with the diplomacy side and the development side, for the first time 10 countries in Southeastern Europe are using standard guidelines for assessing and assisting victims of trafficking across borders. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we wanted to unlock when we created the Policy Bureau and issued policies that would tie together the policy aspirations of this government and this agency with the operational capabilities of our superstars around the world.

The next person who gets a Valentine is Clinton White. And many of you know Clinton has been a leader on our implementation and procurement reform efforts in many different contexts. But he, in his current role in Egypt, drawing on his experiences in Pakistan, is leading one of five local capacity development teams. And by using the new grant tools that we’ve created, the results-based fixed obligation grant award, he’s now working directly with 18 local organizations, helping people realize the aspirations of the Arab Spring that, of course, is changing the world and has been so much the focus of this Administration and of Secretary Clinton. His efforts help us reach new partners and connect in a fundamentally different way to the communities we hope to serve and serve as a model for what we’re capable of if we stick to the procurement reform effort for the years to come.

And finally, I’d like to recognize Cara Christie whom – and I can’t even believe this, but she has been our response manager for the Horn of Africa for more than seven months, 225 days. Before the world saw the crisis, she was giving up her weekends, and her team was giving up their free time to focus on helping people survive. And the efforts of our agency, the efforts of our interagency colleagues working hand-in-glove together, and the more than 100 people who have joined the disaster assistance response teams in the Horn of Africa have helped us reach more than a million people with direct health benefits and interventions, improved clean water access to more than three million people, offered food to more than 4.6 million people. And we’ll see the data when it comes out, but I believe the legacy of having saved tens of thousands of child lives in that region will be one of the things that we will be very, very proud of as a country, as an interagency, and certainly on behalf of USAID.

So my next slide is Secretary Clinton launching the Feed the Future program in Tanzania and meeting with a group of women farmers. (Laughter.) And I don’t need to say this to this group, because you all know this, but it is this Secretary’s vision and commitment to development that spans decades. Her commitment to food security and all of the other issues we’ve made an absolute priority, her willingness to put time and effort into listening to the USAID Forward team talk about the specific progress on specific metrics as we seek to implement the QDDR, and her desire to create the QDDR to fundamentally empower this agency to live up to the ever increasing demands on development and humanitarian response around the world that a time of great change, tremendous needs, and scarce – and increasingly scarce resources. She has empowered us and she has demanded more from us. And so today, you’ll get to hear directly from her, and more importantly, we’ll all get to hear directly from you so that we can continue down this path for many, many years to come.

Secretary Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is wonderful to be back here again and to look out and see all of you who are doing such important work on behalf of AID and our government and, most importantly, the people of our country who really look to you to put into action our values, our compassion, our moral concerns. And I want to thank Raj for his innovative, committed, passionate leadership here at USAID. I want to also acknowledge Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg, who’s been a great partner as we’ve tried to plow through a lot of the changes that are underway. And everyone here at USAID, I want to thank you for helping to put into action ideas that we think will turn the QDDR and its emphasis on elevating diplomacy and development to the same level as defense as part our national security agenda into reality.

I don’t know about the gratitude blog. I’m going to have to look at that, but I love the idea. One of my kind of words to live by, phrase to live by, is the discipline of gratitude, because I think that every one of us every single day – sometimes it’s harder than other days – has something to be grateful for. And I’m grateful for all of you and for your colleagues out in the field and for the purposeful work we are undertaking together to ensure that AID is the very best development delivery system in the entire world.

Now, the last time we spoke was a little over a year ago about the unveiling and rolling out of the QDDR. And when Raj introduced me at that time, he said that it must be one of the busiest and most unpredictable months I’d had on the job. And at the time, I had to agree. But I had no idea how much more difficult, unpredictable, and busy life would become. Because on that very day that I was here, December 17, 2010, a young street vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire, sparking protests and revolutions that reverberate through today.

Now, the Arab Awakening has been at the top of the agenda for all of us, but it’s hardly alone there. New powers are still emerging. The largest military-to-civilian transition since the Marshall Plan is putting our diplomats and development experts front and center in dangerous settings in Iraq and Afghanistan. And there are so many other examples I could point to. But the real point here is the world is fast changing. It’s going to keep changing, and we will either master that change or be overwhelmed by it. And my intention, working all of you and with our colleagues at the State Department, is that we master the change, that we’re smart enough, nimble enough, agile enough to figure out how to stay ahead of it and to harness it on behalf of the important work we do.

So today I want to talk about the QDDR and the reforms it represents, including the USAID Forward agenda, because I think it is critically important. And it’s important on many different levels. Last month at the State Department, I was able to point out how gratified I was to see the progress that we’re making not only here in Washington but more importantly out at posts and missions around the world. I see teams from State and USAID working better together, breaking down silos, streamlining work, saving money while improving service. And I know there’s a lot of work still ahead of us, but I want to just take a minute to talk about the progress we’ve made and then to discuss the areas where I think we have to make more progress.

Now in the QDDR, we set out four main lines of activity, and it began with modernizing diplomacy and development to match the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. We are empowering our chiefs of mission, our ambassadors, as interagency CEOs and making sure to include their perspective in decisions that are made back here in Washington that affect you and affect all of us. We’ve also at the State Department created new bureaus to deal with 21st century challenges. Our new Bureau of Energy Resources is our single point of contact on all energy issues, including making sure that countries use their own energy resources to actually benefit their own citizens. And we reconceived the role of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs, now known as the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. Counterterrorism and police training programs now work alongside those programs that defend human rights, prevent conflict, promote opportunities for young people, combat trafficking-in-persons, and so much else. We elevated the Counterterrorism Office to a full bureau that will help us build an international counterterrorism network that, very frankly, is needed in order to keep up with the fast-changing reach of our adversaries.

The second focus – transforming our approach to development – was very clearly aimed at strengthening our ability to elevate development as a pillar of civilian power alongside diplomacy and defense. And we are rebuilding the U.S. development architecture with AID leading the way. And the goal is to deliver tangible results that we can we all point to, along the lines of the examples that Raj just gave us.

In the QDDR, we said we would concentrate our investments, working more deeply in fewer areas, and we have. For example, we’ve eliminated agricultural funding to Kosovo, Serbia, and Ukraine so we could offer more support to countries with less productive farms in Africa. USAID is leading the whole-of-government for this country’s single biggest investment in development, Feed the Future, to fight hunger, build resiliency, improve food security. And we are continuing to examine how we can best organize our work in global health, which goes across a number of other agencies.

Now as we focus our investments, we have to make sure that each dollar we spend makes the biggest difference for the most people. So we put more emphasis on practicing high-impact development and catalyzing economic growth with an eye toward helping our partners build sustainable systems so they themselves can become more self-sufficient. I mean, ultimately – it’s a very unlikely goal, but I think it’s an important one – we want to work ourselves out of the business. It’s kind of President Obama’s goal of a zero-nuclear-weapons world. The goal is zero. It will take a really long time to get there. Our goal is self-sufficiency – people being able to feed themselves and have governments that care enough about their people to provide healthcare and do all the work that we know makes for a better life.

I know that the mission directors have put months of work into setting targets to measure progress on this front. And I’m especially excited about our efforts to change the way we do business in our host countries. Now, I know it takes a special kind of person to come to work every day thinking about procurement reform. (Laughter.) But I’m here to thank those people who are doing just that. I’m grateful to you for all of your work. (Applause.) Because just look at the impact we’re already having. In Afghanistan, for example, we’ve already saved more than $6 million by cutting out middlemen and providing vaccines, nutrition supplements, and other interventions through government systems. Likewise, when our missions in the Middle East want to buy materials for construction projects, they no longer need permission from Washington just to buy sand. Imagine how long it took to buy sand. I mean, that’s like go pound sand, we’ll get back to you someday, maybe never. (Laughter.) Well, now they can actually buy sand from local companies, instead of having it shipped from the United States.

Procurement reform supports our partners in their efforts to become more self-sufficient, and that’s our ultimate goal. If we want to build up local government ministries, NGOs, and private companies, then we have to invest in them directly. The agency has set a goal of implementing 30 percent of our investments through local systems by 2015. We started at 13 percent three years ago, so we have a lot of work to do. But it is critical to get this right.

Now, this is just one step on the path toward high-impact development. We’re also integrating women and girls and gender equality into our all our efforts because the evidence is overwhelming. It shows clearly they are the key drivers of economic development. We’ve accelerated our investments in science and innovation, bringing in dozens of research fellows, launching the Grand Challenges in Development, which is such an exciting effort to involve the private sector and the academic community in helping us solve tough problems from illiteracy to maternal and child mortality.

We strengthened measurement and evaluation, adopting a new model that has been broadly recognized as the gold standard around the world. And we’ve made our own investments more transparent. I love the Foreign Assistance Dashboard – www.foreignassistance.gov for those of you who are still looking for it – where anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection can track how much we’re investing and where the money goes. And last November in Busan, I was very proud to announce that we are taking the long overdue step of joining the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which commits us to reporting our data in a timely, easy-to-use format.

Now, to deliver the kind of high-impact development that all of us want, we have to make sure that USAID is the preeminent global development institution. And I know we are expecting a lot from you and from this agency, but we are committed to making sure you have the resources needed to deliver.

It starts with building up the Policy Planning and Learning Bureau. I especially like that initiative because we need to be constantly learning. What can we do better? What can we learn from others? PPL is now a thought leader on development, leading the creation of cutting-edge policies on education, violent extremism, climate change, and soon on the importance of gender equality and the role of women and girls in development.

We’ve also created a Budget Office at AID and given your bureaus more control over your share of our unified budget, empowering you to target more resources to the highest priorities. And our mission directors in the field are stepping up into their role as the primary development advisors to our chiefs of mission.

I got to see the impact earlier this year when I traveled to Liberia for President Johnson Sirleaf’s second inauguration. Our ambassador, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has worked hand-in-glove with Mission Director Patricia Rader and Patricia’s predecessor Pamela White, who went on to be ambassador to Gabon, is now on her way to being ambassador in another important country. And they have worked the way I want to see State and AID working. It is: let’s get in the room together, let’s bring the experts together, let’s figure out what we’re trying to accomplish, and let’s see what maximizes our individual contribution to our goals.

For example, with their insight into the technical aspects of registering voters and casting votes, our USAID team worked with their State colleagues in Liberia to assure that opposition parties would believe that the elections were free and fair. And they all worked on a plan to send dozens of embassy staff – not just AID staff, dozens of embassy staff from across the embassy family, and not just State Department staff, but people were called in from other government agencies as well – to observe the elections. And that’s the kind of State-AID partnership we need to see everywhere, working as one team with one mission.

The QDDR’s third focus is how we prevent and respond to crises and conflicts, because more than ever our national security depends on our ability to prevent fragile states from becoming failed states. And that demands the skills and the experience of diplomats and development experts alike. I really believe that it takes two hands, not just one. We have to figure out how we can maximize our partnership. So at the State Department, we rolled out our new Conflict and Stabilization Operations Bureau, which provides expertise and resources to prevent, respond to, and recover from conflicts. And then CSO, as it’s now called, is working closely with USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance to ensure that we have the best possible combination of diplomacy and development assets.

Last year, AID and State galvanized a global response to the crisis in the Horn of Africa. Our people worked side-by-side tirelessly for months on end to save lives and to help the region become more resilient the next time drought strikes. And that’s really the kind of outcome we are seeking. And we want to get ahead of crisis, but if we are unable to do so, we want it to become almost muscle memory about how we immediately mobilize together.

USAID has also established a Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance to promote strong democracies committed to broad-based development, and we’ve increased our investments to help countries recover from disasters more quickly, especially in the Pacific Rim, where 60 percent of the world’s natural disasters occur.

State and AID are working together to bring more women and girls into the work of making and keeping peace. Last December, the United States released our first ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. It is meant to be a comprehensive roadmap for accelerating efforts on this front across the United States Government. State and AID are now working together to identify how we will engage host governments and civil society, ensuring that women are included every step of the way. And this is a great example of how we are elevating the role of women and girls to global preeminence across all our work at State and AID and in our development architecture.

But there is still more I think we can do to improve our responses to crisis and conflict. In particular, we need to institutionalize the QDDR’s lead agency approach, which provides that State will lead operations responding to political and security crises and AID will lead operations responding to humanitarian crises. It remains crucial that we speak with a coordinated and unified voice in the interagency process, because if we’re not coordinated and unified and ready to lead together, I know a really, really big agency that is willing to step in and do it all. (Laughter.)

And my goal is we’re there first and we’re there smarter and we get there and do the job. And of course, they’re welcome to come along wherever they are needed to help us out. (Laughter.) But we can’t be – we’ve got to get to the point where we don’t have some internal discussion between State and AID about, well, wait a minute, should we do this or you do that. No, we need to have figured it out ahead of time, planned for it ahead of time, and be prepared to raise our hands and say, “We’re ready. Send us. We’re ready.”

Now, all of the changes that I’ve discussed so far mark important progress, and I hope they make one thing clear, that both President Obama and I are doing everything we can to build up USAID. But at the same time, this buildup comes with responsibilities and expectations. Every single one of us has a duty to use our resources – because they’re not really ours, are they? They’re the taxpayers. They’re our mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. They’re the hardworking people you grew up with. They’re the family that lost the breadwinner to either death or unemployment. And so we owe it to them to do everything we can to use these resources as efficiently as possible.

So that brings me to the fourth focus of the QDDR, working better by working smarter. I’m delighted that USAID and State have streamlined our processes for producing reports and budgets, making them less onerous and more readable, and hopefully more effective. Every minute saved on paperwork is a minute that can be spent delivering medicine or training an entrepreneur.

We’re also consolidating services to reduce overhead costs so we can devote every possible dollar to our programs. I think it makes not only good sense, but I think it’s going to increasingly be seen as a budget necessity for us to work together to build a single platform. To eliminate duplication, we need efficiencies and economies of scale, and we are working together to find them. We’ve launched our Joint Management Board, known as JMB, to oversee the process. And while we have to proceed thoughtfully, let’s make sure that studying a problem at the JMB never becomes an excuse to delay fixing that problem.

We are piloting the best ways to merge our overseas IT platforms, a step that could save critical resources every year while keeping all the IT functionality that you depend on. And I just got a report today that the initial pilot in Lima is going very well. So at the point of direct contact, where the so-called rubber hits the road in these three pilot projects, we are seeing progress, so we have to stay with it, no matter how challenging it is. We need to keep up our momentum and do so with other projects, like strengthening existing medical programs that serve both agencies.

We also need to keep pressing ahead with our efforts to build a new discipline of what we call development diplomacy, modernizing our diplomacy to make sure that development is fully elevated in our work. This will require joint training and more exchanges that put State and USAID officers in positions in the other agency. The Foreign Service Institute has already made a good start by working with USAID to design a course that helps new mission directors learn how to work effectively across the interagency. FSI and USAID have also launched a distance-learning course on development and diplomacy, which hundreds of State and AID employees have already completed. A classroom course is in the works for the spring. Now we need to build on those efforts and create more opportunities for State and AID officers to learn together.

Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell any of you that these are lean budget times. In two weeks, I will present our new budget to Congress. Now many representatives see the value of what we do and they want to support it, but there are many others who don’t see the value at all and are going to be very, very tough to persuade. I imagine that I’ll hear some quite challenging questions, and there will be many in Congress in a time when everything is on the chopping block looking to chop State and AID.

One year into this first QDDR, we and I can make a much better case than ever for our work. I am confident of that, but I’m also convinced we can’t stop now. We have to keep working to do the most with every dollar of funding and every hour of effort to work as a team with one mission: to make American more secure, show the world our values, help our partners build a safer, more prosperous world for their own people.

This will be the ongoing task and the eternal challenge that I know we are up to meeting. But we have to be very clear that business as usual is not going to sell well on Capitol Hill. The work we do speaks for itself. How we do the work, how we are more efficient, leaner, smarter, better will enable us to keep getting the resources we need to be able to deliver the results we seek. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

I’m going to stand up here, because otherwise I can’t see you. I’m not as tall as I wish I were. Can we get a microphone? Yeah. There we go. Great.

MODERATOR: Morning. I’m Chris Milligan. I’m from PPL, and it’s my pleasure to be able to moderate the Q&A session of the town hall. I understand that we have some outside guests today, including those from the media, and I hope you understand that the town hall is primarily for USAID staff to interact with their leadership. I’ll be reading questions that were submitted from the field via Google Moderator, and we’ll also take questions from the floor. If you have a question from the floor, please be mindful to keep it brief. We’d like to give as many people a chance to ask a question as possible. We have runners with microphones and we’ll get to you, so raise your hand and we’ll get that runner and microphone to you. But they’re not marathoners, and I realize – (laughter) – that this room is large. So if you are at the outer edge and you have a question, please make your way around this way.

Madam Secretary, Administrator Shah, I’d like to start with a question from the field first, please: In some cases, beneficiaries of American assistance abroad are unaware that aid is being provided from the American people. This seems especially true in countries like Egypt and Pakistan. We don’t need profuse thanks for our assistance, but what more can be done to ensure that the people benefitting from our assistance know of our efforts?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Chris and the questioner, this is a constant concern of mine, because the work that has been done by so many of you and your colleagues is important work. It has certainly produced results, it’s helped people, but I am just amazed at how many times when I go to another country I am told that we need to give aid. And I say, “Well, here’s our budget. We’re giving aid.” And they say, “Well, nobody knows about it,” or “Nobody appreciates it.”

And I think there are three reasons. I mean, first of all, we have to do a better job telling our own story, and I think that means we have to do a better job branding our aid and then having a narrative that goes with it, because a lot of aid flows in that is not really branded. I mean, it’s not identified as being from the American people the way it needs to be. But then, if all we do is just provide that aid and not have a narrative that goes along with it through the media, through other outlets, it’s not fair to blame people if they don’t know what we’re doing in their country unless we’ve really tried to break through.

Now sometimes – and some of you remember – we’ve had problems in some countries, where for all kinds of reasons, primarily humanitarian, we’ve wanted to provide aid and the country didn’t want anybody to know it came from us. So there are a few exceptions like that, but those had better be very limited exceptions because, very frankly, it’s hard to justify providing aid from the American people that the people who are receiving the aid or their government don’t want to know comes from the American people. So those have to be kept to a very, very small percentage. The overall problem is more of what I said, about lack of information, lack of knowledge.

Secondly, in a lot of countries, we’re not giving the countries what they want. Let’s be very honest about this. I mean, they come and they say, “Here’s what we want,” and we say, “Here’s what you should want.” (Laughter.) Those days are over. (Applause.) And I know it’s been hard for a lot of people to accept that, but in today’s social media world and interconnectivity, when we are giving lip service to host country ownership and we don’t listen to the host country, then it’s not hard to understand why the government doesn’t support even their own people knowing what it is we’re providing.

So we have to – we are struggling with this. I think we’re making some progress with it, but I think we have to be very clear about our objective. There is some kind of aid that we’re just not going to provide. We’re not going to be spending a lot of money building large edifices and soccer stadiums. Now, there is another very large country that does a lot of that. And every time I go anywhere and I walk into the new parliament building or I walk into the new presidential palace and they proudly tell me that it was built by people of another country, they’re basically saying, “We tell everybody what they did for us. Remind me again what you do for us.” So we have to be smarter and more responsive in providing aid which is what the country themselves want but in a way that keeps it within our parameters for how we provide aid and what we provide aid for. But I think this is a really big issue that we have to struggle with.

And then finally, I think that there is an attitude in a lot of countries – that seems to be growing – that they’re not sure they want foreign aid. And they – even if they want foreign aid, they want foreign aid that comes directly to their government and not through NGOs. We’re living this out, as you all know, right now with the situation in Egypt. Well, I mean, you can’t make somebody take aid. There are a lot of places that want us and where we are doing good work and where we should continue doing good work. And there may be some political considerations that we either have to put a pause on aid or eliminate aid, because we’re never going to get the credit for it because they are not welcoming it.

So these are the kind of political realities that we all have to cope with as we try to figure out how to answer this question. Because at the end of the day, you all work too hard, you do too much good. I see it everywhere I go. I want it to be understood and appreciated both here back home and where you’re doing it. And we just have to get better at that, and we’re working on it.

MODERATOR: Great. Thank you. Would you like to —

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Well, the two things I would add is the Secretary’s asked us to really evolve our partnership model. So when Paul Weisenfeld was just out in Ghana and is in Tanzania today – the fact that he’s sitting down with heads of state, that the Feed the Future team’s across State and AID have done so much work to set up those consultations, that lays the groundwork for a much deeper partnership so that those countries see and feel us being responsive to them at the highest levels and there’s a substantive discussion about it. When Alex was just in Afghanistan a few days ago doing the same thing, that’s part of the diplomacy component, is making sure our ambassadors value that role, our mission directors are willing to put the time in, we’re willing to develop country development cooperation strategies in consultation with the highest levels. And when Secretary Clinton makes phone calls to announce we’re coming to have that dialogue, it helps open doors and it helps lift the nature of the discussion. And so that’s – it’s just something we’re going to have to continue to do, even though it takes more time and it requires being very open to the feedback we get.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I just want to add one thing to what Raj said, because this is such an important issue, and I need all of you to be thinking about it, because you have good ideas about how best we can do this. It’s also important, as Raj said, to get the broader buy-in from the entire government, not just from the development minister. You need to have access to the finance minister. You need to have buy-in from the prime minister and the president. We need it for a lot of reasons. One is you want them invested in what we’re doing and you want to extract some assurances that if you come in with a vaccine program or a maternal mortality program, they’re not going to cut the health budget, because, “Oh. AID’s here. The Americans are going to pay for that, so we don’t have to pay for it. We can take that money and finish that road we’ve always wanted to do.” So there needs to be almost a contracting mentality with the host nation going forward.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Let’s take two Q&As from the floor and then we’ll read a question from the field. So are there any questions? Denise?

QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Secretary. First of all, gratitude should be given to you for your leadership and your vision. And you’re very inspiring and really a role model for so many of us as Americans and as development professionals, so thank you for that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. (Applause.)

QUESTION: I was really delighted to hear you speak so much about USAID Forward and the reforms that are going on here. We know that a lot of – you’ve put a lot of effort in with your team at the State Department to advance the USAID Forward goals. And I’m just wondering how much has that been socialized with the embassy staffs, the ambassadors, those outside of Washington, because that’s really where the rubber meets the road. It’s very important to have the interagency here, but it’s at post where that’s critically important, and particularly around the implementation and procurement reforms.

SECRETARY CLINTON: You are absolutely right, and I’ll say a few words on this. But this is really Raj’s leadership that has made this happen. I think we’re making progress but we’re – it’s constant effort. Just any kind of reform effort, whether it’s State, AID, or any large organization, you can’t rest because you had one meeting with ambassadors or mission directors. It’s a constant, repetitive, educational effort. And I think we’re making real progress, but I think we still have some ways to go.

And part of what I’m hoping is that we continue the really important work that is being done between State and AID so that we rationalize those things that are not about our cultures or about our programs and policies. There are certain things that we just need to try to finish up the work on. I mentioned one, the IT platform – just kind of get it behind us and we say we’re saving money, we have better data organization, standardization management, it’s available to everybody who needs it. Because I think there has been a lack of transparency between State and AID.

An ambassador, up until we came in, didn’t think he or she had much responsibility for AID, and a mission director didn’t think that there was really much basis for asking the ambassador to do the introduction to the finance minister. I mean, we’re on parallel tracks. And it was exhausting and inefficient. So the more we can make the case, which I think we’re making, that this will enhance everybody’s ability to effectively do the work that all of us are trying to do.

But on the specific USAID Forward agenda, I want Raj to talk about where we are on it and socializing it. At the mission directors meeting, our deputy Bill Burns came. We’ve tried to have a lot of interaction at the levels of exchanging information, listening to each other.

So Raj?

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Sure. I’m going to stand up for this part, because I want everybody to see my favorite prop. This – these are the top lying USAID Forward indicators. And for each of the elements of the QDDR and the – and USAID Forward, we’ve actually created a specific measurable target that each mission director has put forth and said this is my goal and you can track this on an annual basis.

Now, this didn’t come out of something we concocted here in Washington. Bambi Arellano deserves a tremendous amount of credit for helping to pull this together, but it was a year’s worth of work. It started with our management retreat last April. We had three mission director consultations. We had a three-day mission director retreat, and then just as importantly, a three-day retreat with our legal and contracting officers to get the insight around what it would take to change the way we work.

And I’ll just tell you why I’m so excited. This says we’ll move, as the Secretary mentioned, from 10 to 32 percent in terms of use of local systems. That saves money and improves outcomes. It builds the self-sufficiency. That’s ultimately our exit strategy. And we’re seeing example after example in the field that is just very exciting as that starts to move forward. We’re highlighting that this year alone we will put forth publicly – and this was a QDDR commitment – 200-plus evaluations that are independently conducted, that meet high and rigorous standards, and it’ll all be publicly available, no internal rewriting of program evaluations, so we can learn and we can learn transparently with the rest of the community.

But perhaps most importantly it talks about our own talent and our own team. And yesterday 25 of our civil service colleagues graduated from a structured mentoring program with colleagues at the State Department. And that’s great. But our target for this year is to get 850 already identified members of our global team in a structured formal mentoring program. And for an agency that has had the huge staff drop-off over the last 15 years and is now rebuilding that, that is critical to filling the leadership gaps that exist in so many different areas of work.

So our commitment is we will keep working on the things that we can do to make this happen, and I think the one area, Denise, that we have to do a lot more work on. But we have so much support from Johnnie Carson and the assistant secretaries across the State Department – is to reach out to ambassadors, talk it through, make sure when we talk about procurement reform – they sometimes think we’re talking about buying furniture for the office because it’s a different – it’s different language. And I said to Johnnie – I said, “No. This isn’t furniture for the office. This is that organization that’s going to be providing health services.” And making sure that we’re doing that directly with the government and through an institution that can last over time. And you see the support – just it’s unlocked and it’s very strong.

So we’re going to use part of the chief of mission conference to really have a deep dialogue on this. The IPR team is on a tour explaining the concepts and getting insight. We’ve sat down with Eric Goosby and the PEPFAR team to make sure we get their insights too. Because there are lot of perceptions out there, that if you take a risk and work with a local institution are you taking more risk or less risk. I think we can now prove across 45 cases that came in in just the last week that we uniformly are saving money and getting better results through this approach. But it’s a case we’re going to have to keep making. And I’m just proud that the Secretary’s been so aggressively helpful in making sure we get visibility for this effort and that we have the resources to build out our contracting staff and make sure that we steward the taxpayer dollars incredibly well against these goals and objectives.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Let’s take another question from the floor. Winston, is that – Winston.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary and Administrator Shah. My name is Winston Allen. I’m with the Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research at the PPL Bureau. As you know, the goal – or one of the goals of development is to create and sustain change. So with regards to USAID Forward, I was wondering do you think the USAID Forward is strong enough to transcend future administrations? And what can we do over the next year too to better institutionalize the changes resulting from USAID Forward reforms?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, Winston, I love that question. (Laughter.) Look, we are working as hard as we can in part to be able to institutionalize the changes that all of you have worked so hard on to bring to our attention and then to implement. There is this unfortunate pendulum in Washington that goes back and forth, where if it was done before then you have to undo it and do something different. And when I came in as Secretary, we didn’t take the programs that had been implemented, like the President’s Malaria Initiative or PEPFAR or MCC and say, “Okay. We got to start over. We’re not doing anything.” We said, “No. What are we going to do to make them better?” And what do we have to do to institutionalize the kinds of patterns of behavior and results that we want to be proud of at the end of this first term of President Obama.

And so that’s why what we’re doing is so urgent. Because look, we have – as with any kind of environment in which change is happening, we have people who are such great proponents – they’re not a big number, but they’re significant, particularly on the Hill – such big proponents of diplomacy and development that basically all we have to do is show up and they say, “What do you need and we’ll help them.” Not a very big number, but they’re a good core group. (Laughter.) And then we have a group that unfortunately is bigger than I would like, which is basically – I don’t understand what those diplomats and development people do anyway; I’m not sure we need them; let’s just – can’t we – we can shut a bunch of consulates, we can cut a bunch of foreign aid, and who will ever miss it. So there’s that group.

The vast majority of the decision makers, particularly on the Hill but also in the broader community, are people who like some of what we do, criticize other pieces of what we do, and who are hoping that we will really engage in a reform process that strengthens us so much that we’ll be on firm footing, no matter what happens and be able to make the case on the grounds that we’re producing results and getting maximum impact for the dollars we spend.

So everything we’re trying to do on USAID Forward or the changes in any aspect of it, like procurement, is not just for the sake of doing it, but to streamline our process, make us more efficient, and make us more able to withstand the back-and-forth of political wins so that we are just on a steady course. Because AID has been in such a rollercoaster ride over the last 20, 30 years, and it has hurt the agency and it’s hurt our work out in the world. And I want to put AID on a really solid foundation, and the best way to do that is to say, “Yeah. Look, we know. We’re cutting expenses where they can be cut, but we want to be able to take that and put it into what works and we’ll explain how.” And that’s what we’re trying to do, Winston.

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: I would just add two things. One is – to the Secretary’s point, I think a lot – we’ve done a lot of consultation with members of both parties on the Hill around these reforms. And when we can demonstrate that we can link inputs to outputs and demonstrate results with clarity and strength and validity in terms of the data, we get a tremendous amount of support from members of both sides of the aisle. And I hope that that is the spirit that sort of continues going forward, and I hope we continue to be extraordinarily transparent with even what’s difficult so that we can get ideas from everybody and use them to create a better system here, because people want this work to be successful in their core and inside.

The other piece is something that Walter North said at the end of the mission director conference. That was an intense three-day conference, and it was the first conference we’ve had in two years with that group. And Walter, at the end, stood up and made a point that really stuck with me and I think about almost every day, where he said, “These aren’t your reforms. These are our reforms. Like we’ve known the best way to do this work. We’re the experts. We have the experience, and we’re going to make it happen.” And I think when you see that kind of energy and that kind of attitude and that kind of leadership from our mission directors around the world it gives me the confidence that you’re going to make it happen. (Laughter.) You’re going to make it happen in ways we could never have even designed or imagined. So those two things give me some faith.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: I’ve been told we have time for one more question from the field and one more question from the floor. Let’s take them both together, and if there’s a question in this area. Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Good morning. Thank you. Madam Secretary, you said sometimes we don’t offer what they want. And as a Washington expert in a suit, I appreciate being reminded of that. (Laughter.) However, my question is: Who are they? How do we determine who legitimately speaks for the hopes and needs of a population? And when we figure that out, how do we weigh the disparate voices? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Excellent.

MODERATOR: To combine with the final question from the field: Madam Secretary, Administrator Shah, we are facing a proliferation of new initiatives from Washington and new priorities. Currently up to 90 percent of our funding in the field is tied up in initiatives and earmarks. How can we free up funding for missions overseas to customize their development assistance for the most countries?

SECRETARY CLINTON: You want to start with that one?

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Sure. (Laughter.) Why not? (Laughter and applause.) Look, I – I’ll just say two things about that. The first is, part of the – part of being an expert in this field is understanding how to conduct a process that helps get input and insight from so many different diverse partners in a country. Our Feed the Future teams working in an interagency context in now 20 countries – I believe 17 – 16 or 17 were in African countries that developed these comprehensive African agriculture development plans. They spent 12, 18 months developing these plans, doing it with country leaders, doing it with farmer groups, doing it with civil society organizations, with private sector. And we have to get better at continuing to, sort of, have those kinds of consultative processes, get back into the business of our own people being out and about doing those consultations directly, and building those relationships based on trust, and then using judgment about what is the best way to make sure we’re abiding by what we’re hearing. But that’s very much the art of this field, and I’ve seen, from Sudan to Haiti, our teams do that in different ways. But it’s a great point and we can get better at standardizing it.

The second thing I’d say on the earmarks and the budget, it – this is a tough environment and we have to fight for resources by documenting and demonstrating that we can deliver results for those resources. And that often means being able to say, “If you give us $900 million to focus on education, we will have – we’ll ensure and we will test literacy outcomes at grade level and generate this level of benefit for that investment.” And we’ve done that across a number of our strategies and initiatives, and I know sometimes that feels constraining. But the reality is we’re going to have to have to continue to try and build space within those larger initiatives to do the right things.

I sat through an outstanding meeting yesterday with our joint planning cells from Kenya and Ethiopia that actually grew out of – Secretary Clinton had asked us to make sure that we do these consultations with the heads of state of Kenya and Ethiopia as part of our humanitarian program. So we went and we said, “Well, what are you thinking?” And they said, “Well, we understand why you have to do the humanitarian assistance, but where we really need support is with a resilience strategy so that after the crisis people in those dry land pastoral communities are less vulnerable so that next time all the NGOs don’t have to pour in again to save lives.” And our teams broke down barriers, worked with international organizations, worked across the missions. Our pastoral experts in Ethiopia were everywhere in the Horn, and it was fabulous. And they came up with a great plan that’s very responsive to what we need and were able to, by piecing funding together from different line items, support that imitative.

We can do that. We just have to be very intentional about it and very transparent about it. And we can use Feed the Future resources and some humanitarian resources to fund that package together. So I think there’s more flexibility in the system than it sometimes seems, and we have to do a ever-better job of making sure that we know where want to use that flexibility, because it is going to be – continue to be a tough fiscal environment.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I would just add a few points. What Raj just said, and sort of in response to the very real concerns that both questions suggested – it’s one of the reasons why research is so important, because sometimes what you think works doesn’t work as well as something else. But if it’s only our opinion that we’re putting forth, then the host government will say, “Well, here’s our opinion, and it’s our country, so go with our opinion, not your opinion.” So we need to do a much better job in evaluating ourselves and other development efforts by other countries, by NGOs, so that we are armed with evidence. Because the arguments that sometimes take place – and then – and I hear them, because when I’m in a country, sometimes the president or the prime minister, the foreign minister will say, “We’ve asked your country for X. But you tell us you’ll only do Y.” And I’m sitting there thinking, “I don’t get that.” And so what we’re trying to do, by emphasizing greater country ownership, requires exactly what Raj just described: intensive involvement.

Now who are the people you deal with? Well, you got to start with the people who are viewed as the leaders of the country, elected or self-anointed. They are the people who are running the country, and for whatever set of reasons, the populace is permitting that to go on. But then you also have to deal with other influentials at province level or state level. I mean, one of our big problems, as many of you know, with polio eradication in northern Nigeria is not the government in Abuja; it’s local leaders in northern Nigeria. So those are people that we have to get to and work with in order to persuade, based on evidence, that the polio vaccine is not going to harm their children. So it’s a kind of power influential matrix analysis that you have to carry out all the time.

But I think it’s really significant that we’re not alone in this effort any longer. You got really large NGOs and you have China playing a greater and greater development role, which will only grow. So when I’m sitting across from the president of a country who says, “We want your help in education, but you’ve come and said you’ll do teacher training and curriculum, but the Chinese will build schools. Everybody’s going to think, even though I’m very pro-American, that you’re not helping us, because what you’re doing is not visible.” So I said, “Well, suppose we build one or two schools, and then do training in them.” But I mean, you’ve got to be creative to think about how we get our message across.

And if we come in convinced that we know best for them, whoever they are, or we have an agenda, because we’ve looked at the indicators and we know that they may be asking for education, but they really need our malaria program, and we only have so much aid for this country, then you have to either make the case to convince them that what you’re offering is what they actually need – because how you educate children if they’re dying from malaria, you make the case – or you have to go back to the drawing boards and say, “If we want a real impact in this country to build trust up and down the leadership ladder, from the top and to the local community, maybe we do need to do something that they actually will welcome and be grateful for.” And then the next time we talk to them, they’re willing to say, “You know, we really loved that school you built or that program you ran that you came in and said would help us, so what do you think we need to do next?” To begin to have that conversation of trust and transparency.

So none of this is easy. If it were easy, we would’ve all been doing it and be freed from the constant questioning that we’re engaged in trying to figure out how we produce more efficiently for more people. But I have total confidence in the ability of the people of AID, here and around the world. I’ve seen the results for more than 20 years. I know what we can do. And I know that if we get that partnership with local people and governments, what we do stands the test of time, and it’s appreciated. And it builds a platform for us to have other engagements that go to the political and the strategic side because you, with your development work, have really built up bonds of trust and people want to work with and rely on America. And where that doesn’t happen, there are so many misconceptions and so much room for stereotyping, caricature and all kinds of attacks. And that’s not good for development, diplomacy, or defense.

So what we’re doing, I think, is incredibly important. I am very proud of the progress we’ve made. I want to lock in as much as we can in support of you and this reform agenda by the end of this year, so that whatever comes next there’s no question that it will be dismantled or that AID will be under assault again, because we will have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the work that is done by the professionals in AID is as essential to America’s security interests and values as anything done by a soldier or a diplomat. That’s my goal and that’s my promise to you.

Thank you. (Applause.)

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Thank you, all. (Applause.)

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Town Hall Meeting on the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

Townhall

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Patrick F. Kennedy
Under Secretary for Management
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
January 26, 2012

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY:Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Secretary of State’s Town Hall meeting. Just one brief technical reminder. This session is being broadcast not only on the State Department’s internal closed circuit system, BNET, but also is being broadcast by a number of networks, so please always be diplomatic – (laughter) – in your questions and in your performance. And with that, briefly, it gives me great personal and professional pleasure to introduce the Secretary of State, the honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton.Madam Secretary. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, Pat, and I am delighted to be with all of you again this morning. On the way down the hall I saw the overflow crowd, so I want to greet them. They’re clustered around some of the TV screens out there. It’s wonderful to have this opportunity so soon in the new year to speak with you face-to-face, to have a chance to bring you up to date and also answer questions. It also an opportunity to understand the full seating capacity of the Dean Acheson Auditorium – (laughter) – and I’m afraid test the fire marshal’s patience.

Many more people than even the very large crowd gathered here and out in the hall have contributed to the work that we are doing together. There is so much to talk about. I wish I could be here for days, and we could bring in shifts of people, but there’s much work to be done of which you are essential partners. I do want to thank Kerry O’Conner and Molly Moran for their great work running the Sounding Board. (Applause.) And they’re giving everyone here in the State Department a chance to ask questions.

I’m also looking forward to going over to USAID, and I see Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg. I know Raj Shah is out of town, or we would have tried to piggyback them on the same day, Don, but we’re going to get a date very soon. Because it is appropriate for us to have this chance to kind of catch up and look forward.

And it is also so fitting that we would be meeting here in an auditorium named for Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who cautioned us – and I quote – “always remember that the future comes one day at a time.” And despite the daunting challenges and the extraordinary opportunities that we confront, it is that one day at a time, one step in front of the next that really gets us where we’re heading.

In that spirit, I want to update you on the implementation of the first QDDR, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which we launched in this room just over a year ago. Our goals remain the same: to strengthen State and USAID as we continue to strive to work better, faster, and smarter in the 21st century. During his State of the Union address this week, President Obama spoke about the essential role that America still plays in spreading peace and prosperity around the world. Well, that was music to my ears, and I hope also to yours.

The State Department and USAID are critical to maintaining and extending American leadership, and we will be, in the future, called upon to do more, in more places, more frequently, and most likely with fewer resources. The goals of the QDDR, therefore, are even more imperative in times of tight budget constraints. We must show – it’s up to us to show the American people and their representatives in Congress that every dollar given to the State Department and USAID is a wise and effective investment in advancing the values, the interests, and the security of the United States of America.

Now, over – yes, I agree with that. (Applause.) (Laughter.)

Over the past year, I have been so gratified to see how individual bureaus, missions, and posts have applied the underlying principles of the QDDR. I’m seeing more interagency cooperation, people breaking down work silos, tapping institutional capacity wherever it exists. And we’re also making great progress on the four main lines of activity that we identified in the QDDR process: adapting our diplomacy to new threats and opportunities; transforming our development to deliver results; strengthening our capacity to prevent and respond to conflict and crisis; and working smarter by improving our approaches to planning, procurement, and personnel.

And let me just briefly share with you some of the progress we’ve made in each of these areas. First, adapting our diplomacy for the 21st century. We are empowering our chiefs of mission, our ambassadors, as interagency CEOs and making sure to include their perspective whenever a decision touches their country and their responsibilities within it. Ambassadors now regularly participate in high-level interagency policy making discussions with Washington via video conference. And they help formally evaluate employees from other agencies as part of our whole of government approach.

We also created a home for all of our experts on one of the defining challenges of our time: energy. For too long, energy was the second, third, or forth priority for several different offices. Now, the new Bureau of Energy Resources is our single point of contact on all energy issues. ENR is already working in close coordination with the Department of Energy to keep energy markets stable as we implement sanctions on Iran and to lead our global strategy with the UN to achieve sustainable energy for all. And ENR taps skill sets from across the government – from Treasury, Commerce, Interior, among others – to run the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative, which is helping countries use their own energy resources transparently to actually benefit their own citizens. (Applause.)

We also reconceived the role of the under secretary for global affairs, now known as the under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights. We wanted to focus on those areas, civilian security and the other essential elements of building safe, fair, and just societies. We erased the organizational distinctions between what was once viewed as hard power and soft power, the kind of security concerns with a hard edge, in order to look more comprehensively and in depth at an integrated and ultimately more effective approach.

Now, counterterrorism and police training programs work alongside those that defend human rights, promote opportunities for young people, combat trafficking-in-persons. In other words, we are bringing a 360-degree approach to people protection that addresses both the root causes of insecurity and its immediate threats. Working closely with regional bureaus, the new J family works to make sure a government’s first obligation is to its own people; that government institutions, including courts, police forces, and others that affect everyday life are rooted in the rule of law and respect for human rights; that refugees are protected from persecution; that the voice of young people is heard and respected; and individuals are protected from the excesses of government.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, a country emerging from decades of conflict, the J family is working closely with the Africa Bureau to create the environment for more stability and security, working to prevent sexual and gender-based violence, break the link between conflict minerals and violence, support democratic institutions that can promote lasting peace, and achieve accountability for the atrocities that have been committed against innocents.

We have also elevated the Counterterrorism Office to a full bureau that will help us build an international counterterrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries. The CT Bureau is undermining extremists’ attempts to find new recruits, and shrinking the space available to al-Qaida and its affiliates by increasing the capacity of our partners to combat terrorism on their own.

Now, we also launched a new center – to deal with countering violent extremism – within the State Department, and I attended the inaugural meeting just yesterday and saw the interagency in full splendor as I sat between Danny Benjamin and Ann Stock and Ambassador Richard LeBaron, and across from representatives from DOD, CIA, DNI, you name it. Because it makes no sense for us to be trying to combat violent extremism, have expertise in the CIA, expertise in DOD, expertise across our government that is siloed in ways we don’t even know what each other is doing. So we’re trying to break down those bureaucratic barriers.

We’ve also launched – (applause) – as an American initiative, along with our partners around the world, the Global Counterterrorism Forum to strengthen civilian-led counterterrorism efforts and further bridge the divide between security and development. And in addition, we’ve taken many other steps, one in particular – establishing a coordinator for cyber issues that is going to be increasingly important to us in order to respond quickly to 21st century threats.

Second, along with the great leadership of Dr. Raj Shah, we are transforming our approach to development. We’ve made a long-term commitment to rebuilding USAID as the world’s premier development agency. Under the USAID forward reform agenda, we’ve strengthened AID’s capacity to elevate development as a pillar of civilian power. We’ve built up the Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau, and I especially liked that initiative, because we need to be constantly a learning organism – what can we do better, what can we learn from others. It is now a thought leader on development; adopting an outstanding system for monitoring and evaluating our work around the world; reinvigorating our investments in science, technology and innovation; and stepping up our focus on democracy, human rights, and governance.

We’re also consolidating our administrative services when it makes sense from a business and operations perspective. It no longer makes sense in a world of constrained resources in countries to have separate warehouses for State Department and AID. We need efficiencies. We need economies of scale. And we’re working through all of that. Pat Kennedy and his great M team is really helping. And as promised, we launched a foreign assistance dashboard at www.foreignassistance.gov. That lets anyone in the world with an internet connection to see where we are investing and how much, and I will be discussing this in greater details at the USAID town hall. (Applause.) It’s also nice to be able to refer our own inquiries that still people think we spend 20 percent of the U.S. Government’s budget on development to tell them to go to the foreignassistance.gov and actually get a little evidence-based reality going here. (Laughter.)

Third, because we recognize that it’s more important than ever to address the problems of fragile states, we are strengthening our capacity to prevent and respond to crisis. We rolled out our new Conflict and Stabilization Operations Bureau. And in the past year, CSO has deployed more than 175 Civilian Response Corps members to hotspots in more than 30 countries around the world. They come from nine different agencies and bureaus, including USAID, which has expanded its own work in this area. They’re working everywhere from Afghanistan to South Sudan to Timor-Leste, often in some of the most remote and least governed places on earth. They can be found camped alongside special forces, sleeping under mosquito nets in campsites hacked out of the jungle by machete, eating MREs, hitching rides in the back of pickups to meet with local leaders – not the common image of a diplomat. But they are among the hundreds of State and USAID employees practicing a tradecraft that now lives at the intersection of diplomacy, development, and security.

And finally – (applause) – we are doing everything we can to work smarter by improving our approaches to planning, procurement, and personnel. For example, we have overhauled the way State and USAID go about setting goals and developing long-term plans. For the first time, strategic planning and resource planning are separate and sequential processes. Now as obvious as it may seem to all of us here today, we now set our goals before we determine funding rather than doing everything all at once, and we’re simplifying those processes to relieve unnecessary burdens.

In the press of the budget and the incredible pressure that comes on everyone every year, and especially last year and this year, it seemed to make sense in the past that we just tried to do everything at once – how much could we get, what could we do it for. What we have found in our engagement with OMB and in our engagement with the Hill, that if we’ve done our planning first and we have the rationales behind what we are asking for, we will be more successful. We will make the case to both the OMB budgeteers and the appropriations committees on the Hill. It helps us focus our resources on highest priorities.

And we’re also investing in our most important asset, namely all of you and your colleagues. We set up new training through FSI to better prepare our staff for the demands of 21st century diplomacy. We’ve created multiple new courses designed to emphasize priorities identified in the QDDR, including training in development assistance, multilateral diplomacy, and social media best practices. We want to make sure every person at State and USAID has the skills and resources necessary to do your job.

We also want to tap all the talent and expertise of our Civil Service. (Applause.) Last year, we developed a department-wide survey of civil servants and, by popular demand, launched a pilot program for civil servants to deploy overseas. Posts will obviously benefit from having skilled civil servants fill out their team, and the participants will gain greater experience about life at posts and a new set of responsibilities. If the program proves successful, we will look to expand it to more people and more posts.

Now, these are just a handful of the steps we have taken in the last year. There are many, many more stories of the QDDR in action. We’ve been tracking them on the website qddr.state.gov. I encourage each of you to go there to check up on the progress we’ve made, to share your ideas about how to make this first-ever QDDR real in your office.

And as we look ahead at the coming year, we need to keep up this momentum. Now, I know it isn’t easy. There is just a lot to do every single day. It’s hard to be inventing a new airplane when you’re up in the air. But we are really together demonstrating how it’s done. Large bureaucracies, like large organizations anywhere, can often resist change because it’s new, it disrupts the orderly flow of the routines that have been already established, and it might be tempting to just sit and wait in the hope that a change will pass you by. But instead, so many of you have embraced the QDDR and the ideas behind it, and I want to thank each and every one of you who have been involved in the process. If you’re still working to implement the guidance, I encourage you to keep pushing forward.

Now, many of the projects we’ve already started will need follow-up actions in the coming months. So we will also be defining the next set of projects to take on. And I really invite all of you – we really welcome your ideas about how to bring these changes into reality, because implementing the QDDR should not be an extra task on top of your real day job; it should be part of that job, and it should provide transformative thinking and tools to help you work better. And aside from the big institutional changes we’re making, I want the QDDR to do something else – encourage all employees at every level to really think hard to kind of dream big about what more we can do on behalf of our country.

For more than half a century, the world has benefited from exceptional American leadership, and an international system that was designed and implemented by talented and dedicated employees here at State and USAID. The sources of America’s power are enduring and durable – our values, our global vision, our productivity, our ingenuity, our incredible demographic diversity – but none of these advantages is a birthright. Every generation of Americans has to reestablish their legitimacy and credibility and has to re-imagine how America will be going forward. So let’s nurture those values, let’s keep making the tough choices, and let’s be sure we are part of securing American leadership well into this century.

Now I will be happy to take your questions. There are two microphones already set up in the audience. We’ve received a lot of interesting questions through the Sounding Board. We’re not going to have time to answer all of them, so I’ll take a few online questions submitted from overseas posts today. I understand that we will take a few from the Sounding Board moderator, who’s merged a few of the questions, apparently, so I could respond more directly to all of you. And I promise that all the thoughtful questions that you took the time to ask, which I don’t get to right now, will be answered either on the Sounding Board or the QDDR site.

So with that, Pat, we should begin. (Applause.)

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you so much for being here. My name is Kathleen Corey, and I work at FSI. Many of us are very involved in working on QDDR-related projects, and we’re very excited about the document and want it to stay. So my question is: What is the Department doing to institutionalize the QDDR so that regardless of who is Secretary of State or regardless of which administration is in power, that the QDDR will remain a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, thank you for your work at FSI and for your work on implementing the QDDR. We are hoping that it will prove itself so that no matter who comes next, not only in position, but in all of the positions of leadership throughout State and AID, will see it as the tool that it is. The Defense Department has been doing this for years, and it has really advantaged them.

That’s how I first thought of it, because I served on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, and every four years, the Defense Department would come up with this really slick, well manufactured brochure and filled with pages and PowerPoints – you know how they are so good at that. (Laughter.) And it’s just – I mean, it just was daunting to see, because it just laid out, well, here’s what we want, and here’s how we’re going to get it. And we had nothing like that from State or AID. In fact, if you ask Jack Lew, who has gone from D here to OMB, now will become Chief of Staff for President Obama, he said it was always so easy because State would come in with their priorities, AID would come in with different priorities, you could set one against the other, and so the end result was that we got less than we should have gotten.

So I don’t like that as an operating principle. So we decided to launch the first QDDR. We are expecting it to be legislated, because I think that the Congress – our authorizing committees and appropriating subcommittees – found it really useful, because they used to come into meetings and all the DOD appropriators would have their stacks of stuff from DOD, and our guys would have a little piece of paper with somebody called me and told me I needed to do this. So – (laughter) – we think it, on the merits, should be continued, and if it’s legislated, it will be continued. So that’s how we see it.

Yes.

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: (Inaudible) question from the field with the Sounding Board, please.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Madam Secretary. The first question from the Sounding Board comes from Michelle Nichols in Kabul. She wants to know: What will the footprint of the Department be in Afghanistan as we progress through transition?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s a very good question. And just about 10 days or so ago, I called our team in Afghanistan, had a conference call with many, many of the really extraordinary people serving there – not just from State and AID, but from our whole government – and we are going through that process now to evaluate as the transition continues in Afghanistan and the military footprint draws down and transitioning areas are transferred to Afghan lead. Our civilian mission will have to shift its focus from stabilization and support to the military to long-term development and building Afghan capacity.

We have over 450 civilians right now embedded in nearly 80 locations with the military, primarily U.S., but also NATO-ISAF forces. We will be gradually consolidating – our present thinking is – into four enduring State-led locations. And our staffing will be drawn down as the military draws down. We will have to be really thoughtful about how we reconfigure our mission in Kabul and around the country. That process is just beginning.

So Michelle, I would welcome your insight and input as well as those of others serving with you. Ambassador Ryan Crocker runs a great mission in Kabul, so he is and his team is very much focused on this. But it is a work in progress, because we don’t know all the details about exactly how the transition to Afghan-led security will occur. But we’re starting that work right now.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I’m on the board of Executive Women at State. Fewer women are applying for senior positions in the Department and women at every level are having difficulty with maternity, childcare, and eldercare issues, and some are resigning. Workplace flexibility options are inconsistent from office to office. How can Executive Women at State and other concerned affinity groups work with you to help address these problems before you leave? Thank you. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is matter of great concern to me, because obviously balancing family and work responsibilities is challenging, and the challenge falls disproportionately on women in the workplace. And it’s no longer just a question of one’s children. It’s also one’s aging relatives who are often part of the care giving responsibilities that are assumed. And I really want to do more on this this year.

I think we’ve got a variety of policies in place that are trying to make the Department a more family-friendly work environment. I know some of you have raised on the Sounding Board and through your chains, here, the question about more telework. Pat and I have talked about this. We have to determine which positions are eligible and which aren’t. A lot of the classified and confidential work can’t be outsourced, so to speak, to telework. So we are looking at that, we will continue to look at it, and we will try to support as much expansion of it as is possible. But I don’t want to overpromise, because there are inherent challenges.

We also have a policy that provides for alternative work schedules. We support job-sharing when it has been worked out with the office and the person willing to share the job with you. We have two daycare facilities, we’re about to have a third, one at FSI, one at SA-1, and then one at a new building that is being revamped and ready for CA. We need more capacity. Everybody knows that, and we’re exploring everything we can do. I also have been made aware of the desire for more lactation rooms. I think we’ve added numbers to that, and we are in the process of trying to develop a policy to increase the numbers.

And I think there is a lot that is practical and, again, maybe apparently small steps but which could make a big difference in an individual’s ability to balance family and work. So I hope that you will keep really stretching the envelope on this. Obviously on our – for our LGBT community, we’ve really broken through and done a lot in terms of improving family-related policies. So we’re very sensitive to this. We’ll try to do as much as we can within the confines of the kind of specific constraints that we have to work with.

So keep the ideas coming and keep encouraging talented women to move up the ranks. We don’t want there to be any stagnation in numbers. There should be no glass ceiling or any other kind of ceiling that prevents women from going forward in so far as we can make the work environment successful for you. So we’ll keep working on that. (Applause.)

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. My name is Doris McBryde. I am in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. As you know, even though there are some agencies that are growing, we ourselves are not the only agency that’s facing difficulty in terms of resources. You mentioned earlier, for example, the Department of Energy as well. You didn’t mention the Department of Commerce are among the agencies that we work with closely that are having resource issues. And I’m wondering what your thoughts are about that and how that affects their ability to engage in diplomacy with us overseas.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That is a really good question, because we have worked hard to make the case for State and AID resources. And I’m knocking on wood, but we’ve done better than many would have ever expected because we’ve been really focused on making the Congress understand that all the things they want done, like increase the numbers of people processing visas in China and Brazil and shorten the time, takes money and takes people.

But it’s harder for us to make the interagency argument about our colleagues. We do work closely with Commerce, with Energy, with USDA. You go across our government; we now have representatives from so many different agencies in country under chief of mission authority. So we do have to help our colleagues in other parts of the government understand the role that they play in our 21st century statecraft. And that’s particularly true in E, because in order to practice what we do call economic statecraft, we want a team. We want the American team out there working for us.

And I think that it’s going to be challenging because the number of positions that Commerce is able to fund, for example, in the Arab Spring region has dropped. And so we’ve been scrambling to try to help Commerce keep personnel experts in North Africa so they can work with us in order to be able to promote economic opportunity. In a globalized world like the one we’re in, the tools of foreign policy are not just within this Department or even development just within USAID. And so we have to be smarter about how we make a broader case. And so it’s a very good question.

One of the reasons we consolidated what we did inside E was to try to get everything in one place so that we’re more effective in putting forth our positions. And then from that, I hope we can in this new alignment of economic growth, energy, and the environment be more effective in working with our colleagues across the government. But it’s a challenge, and I appreciate you for raising it.

MODERATOR: Madam Secretary, this next question is probably one of the most discussed topics on the Sounding Board. Todd Schwartz asks: Are there are steps that can be taken to accelerate the upgrade of Internet Explorer on Department systems? (Laughter.) (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I remember the first time I did a town hall, and I think I was asked about this. I hope you agree we’ve made progress. We continue to make progress. We know how important this is for all of you. As I recall – it seems so long ago – but three years or so ago we really didn’t – we really were not in the 21st century; let me put it that way. But under great leadership from Pat and our team, we have made progress.

So today I’m happy to announce – (laughter) – we really do read the Sounding Board – (laughter) – that Google Chrome will be deployed worldwide on February 14th – (applause) – that’s my Valentine’s present to all of you. (Laughter.) Internet Explorer 8 will be deployed on March 20th – (applause) – and for more details you can go to State cable 7330, which officially announced this January 25th.

Now, Google Chrome is intended to be an optional browser. It may not work with all the Department internet sites or applications, but we believe it will greatly improve the accessibility and performance with external sites. Internet Explorer 8 has been tested with Department enterprise applications; it’s precisely this sort of quality control testing that delays the deployment of newer versions of Explorer. Pat’s informed me that it’s the assessment of our incredible, crack information systems team that will skip Internet Explorer 9 completely and deploy Internet Explorer 10 on or before February of next year. So we’re moving, moving, moving, and we appreciate the constant prodding, prodding, prodding – (laughter) – that we get from the Sounding Board.

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. My name is Virginia Benninghoff. I work in IIP in the Office of European Affairs, and I have a question on our foreign policy, if I may.

Regarding the atrocities that happened in the beginning of the 20th century that some would label the Armenian genocide, I am wondering why it is that we do not recognize it as such, and if it has to do with our classification of what a genocide is, or more to do with our relationship with Turkey. And given the recent legislation that was passed by lawmakers in France criminalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide, whether – what our stance is on that? My understanding is that Under Secretary Sherman was there recently, and I wondered if that came up and what our position is. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, one of our great strengths is we do not criminalize speech. People can say nearly anything they choose, and they do, in our country. (Applause.) And so other countries, including close friends and allies like France, have different standards, different histories, but we are, I hope, never going to go down that path to criminalize speech.

I think it’s fair to say that this has always been viewed, and I think properly so, as a matter of historical debate and conclusions rather than political. And I think that is the right posture for the United States Government to be in, because whatever the terrible event might be or the high emotions that it represents, to try to use government power to resolve historical issues, I think, opens a door that is a very dangerous one to go through. So the issue is a very emotional one; I recognize that and I have great sympathy for those who are just so incredibly passionate about it.

But I think the free market of ideas, the academic community, the open architecture of communication that is even greater now than it was in the past, are the proper fora for this kind of engagement, and that’s where I hope it is worked out. And eventually, people will have their own conclusions, which needs to be respected, but we need to encourage anyone on any side of any contentious historical debate to get out into the marketplace of ideas. Muster your evidence, put forth your arguments, and be willing to engage, and that’s what I think should happen on that too. (Applause.)

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. My name is Behar Gidani, and the last time I stood before you I was an intern, and now I’m a program analyst, so it’s quite an honor to be here before you again today. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good, good.

QUESTION: My question is regarding foreign policy, if I may. As a Kurdish American, much of my interest focuses on the current state of Iraqi political affairs. Given what’s going on or what’s happened since the American troop withdrawal, with Hashimi fleeing to the Kurdistan region, I was wondering what the role of U.S. diplomacy is right now with that situation, and what you hope you will see in the future to ensure Iraqi security and democracy and stability continue.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I’m delighted that you’ve gone from intern to full-fledged employee in such a short period of time, and we’re delighted, and that’s exactly the kind of movement of young people into our ranks that I’m thrilled to see.

Look, there is no doubt – all one has to do is follow the media – that there’s a lot of political contention in Iraq right now. The United States, led by our very able, experienced Ambassador Jim Jeffrey – I don’t know if the man has slept more than an hour or two, because he is constantly, along with his able team, reaching out, meeting with, cajoling, pushing the players, starting with Prime Minister Maliki, not to blow this opportunity. Let me just be very clear: This is an opportunity for the Iraqi people of all areas of Iraq, of all religious affiliation, of all backgrounds – this is an opportunity to have a unified Iraq, and the only way to do that is by compromising.

And one of the challenges in new democracies is that compromise is not in the vocabulary, especially in countries where people were oppressed, brutalized over many years. They believe that democracy gives them the opportunity to exercise power and, even though it’s not the specific individual – Saddam Hussein is gone – he oppressed the Shia, he terribly abused the Kurds, including chemical attacks – he’s gone, but people’s minds are not yet fully open to the potential for what this new opportunity can mean to them. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of line-drawing going on and boundary-imposing between different political factions.

So we are certainly conveying in as strong a message as we can that these political difficulties and disagreements have to be peacefully resolved for the good of all Iraqis, and that everyone has a chance to grow the pie bigger, to have more freedom, more economic prosperity by working together.

And it’s not easy. It’s unfortunately one of the challenges we face everywhere in the world right now. With the great movement toward democracy, which we welcome and applaud, it has upended a lot of the historical experiences that people have held onto, and there is a need to get moving beyond that. But it will take time. The United States will be firmly in the role of advising and mentoring and playing the go-between in every way that we possibly can. But at the end of the day, Iraq is now a democracy, but they need to act like one, and that requires compromise.

And so I’m hoping that there will be a recognition of that, and such a tremendous potential to be realized. Iraq can be such a rich country – it’s already showing that with the oil revenues starting to flow again – but problems have to be resolved. They cannot be ignored or mandated by authoritarianism; they have to be worked through the political process. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Madam Secretary, we received two very similar questions from Katherine Koehler and Eric Clayborn that ask you about your vision for us: From the most senior employee to the most junior, in an era of limited resources, what is the one thing that we can do every day in our work, in our attitude, to make sure we reflect the priorities and values of the Department and your strategic vision for smart power? Can you give us a vision of what it means to work creatively and innovatively, given the growth of issues that we must deal with and the reality of the resources that we have?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is a very important question that would probably deserves a much longer answer. But let me just say that part of the vision is in the QDDR. I mean, that is really what drove our doing the QDDR, and why we asked so many of you to participate in helping us think through what the vision was for diplomacy and development, to have an openness to change, to learn new skills, to be willing to collaborate and listen to one another, not to defend the past.

If the past is worth defending in the values and the practices that we used, then make the case for them, not a reflexive “This is the way we’ve always done it, this is how we expect to do it forever, I’m too old to change” – I relate to that. (Laughter.) So I think it’s both institutional and personal attributes that we are trying, together, to examine. And there is an opportunity – I always believed that the best change comes from the bottom up. It comes from empowered employees saying: “Look, I’ve got this great idea.” (Applause.)

So to everyone, feel that empowerment. And then to supervisors, managers, et cetera, be open to those ideas. Not every idea is a good one. That is to be – you have to say that. (Laughter.) Because even if you believe it and you’ve spent a long time working on it, doesn’t necessarily mean it will carry the day. But how do you know unless you ask, unless you deliver, and not just stand to one side and say, “Well, if they only did what I would have them do,” or “Why are they doing that,” well, that’s not helpful to anybody. And I am sure that we’ll find it increases stress levels and all kinds of health problems. So come forward with ideas, and then I want to encourage everyone at the supervisor level to be open to listen – doesn’t mean you’re going to agree or accept, but to have that give and take. And that is what we’re looking for.

When you think about 21st century diplomacy, we’re asking our director general, we’re asking FSI, to envision what is the training, what are the new modes of thinking that we have to equip you with. Because you’re not your mother’s or your father’s diplomat or Foreign Service officer or Civil Service expert; you’re coming with a new set of challenges. So how can we help equip you, but then how can you help prepare yourself to be ready?

So I think if you look at the QDDR and kind of go through that and imagine how this will lead to the vision of our role in the world, how we can be more effective, more impactful, how we can go further on less, because there is no guarantee in these austere times that we’re going to have what we would ideally like – that starts a conversation. And in kind of the office groupings, the subject matter groupings, the affinity groupings, have that conversation and then come with ideas either through the Sounding Board or directly to people in positions of responsibility. And let’s see where it leads and we’ll do our best. (Applause.)

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning.

QUESTION: My name is Leon Galanos.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Could you get just a little closer to the microphone?

QUESTION: Sorry.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: My name is Leon Galanos. I am with the Management Office of Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation. I work for Under Secretary Kennedy.

In your opening letter in the QDDR, you ask the question, “How do we do better?” I’d like to say that in order to meet the program goals of the QDDR, we need that strong management platform in the Department and USAID. And an important component of that management platform is how we manage data, information. I just want you to know that we have a inter-bureau working group which started in June 2011 that is working to getting all those silos together to share data, to access data better, so that you get that information you need quicker and more accurately. And we would be keen on meeting with your staff, debriefing them on our success and the work yet to be done.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we will do that, because you’re a hundred percent right. In today’s world, you can either manage data or be drowned by it. And it is – that’s the choice. And if you start being drowned, the natural human inclination is just to ignore. So the smarter we can be about managing and presenting and utilizing data – so we’ll follow through on that, Pat, okay?

QUESTION: Not a question. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s okay. A shameless but very important plug. (Laughter and applause.)

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. My name’s Michelle Lakomy. I’m a member of the Civilian Response Corps. I wanted to know what your vision for the Civilian Response Corps and the interagency is and their role in the implementation of the QDDR in the next few years.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Great question. Is Rick Barton here? There he is. Rick’s right in front of me. We were so fortunate to recruit Rick to be the first leader of the CSO. And I think his vision and what all of you are thinking through will answer that question.

I want us to be able to deploy expertise in the form of Americans, both from the government, from the outside if appropriate but part of our network, to be on the ground, as I said in my remarks, doing what is necessary to protect us, promote our values, and further our interests. And that’s why this is so exciting, because I can’t, standing here today, tell you exactly all of the different roles and functions that CSO will perform. It will – it already does have a very tight partnership with counterparts in AID. We need to increase the flow of information and cooperation but then, going beyond that, into the rest of the government.

But I do know this: This was absolutely one of the most important decisions that came out of the QDDR. We entered into it with a question like, “Well, do we need this?” I mean, is this – because we’d had some efforts that were really quite important but never were given the support, the resources, the attention and time that they deserved. So it was a natural question to say, “Do we need this?” And the answer was resoundingly yes, but it has to be done the right way.

So I’m hoping that as we go through the startup and the consolidation of the CSO, you’ll be coming to me to say, “Well, here’s what we need to do, what we think we should be doing,” and I will be as responsive as I can.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Madam Secretary, another question from the field (inaudible) Sounding Board.

MODERATOR: Madam Secretary, this question comes from Noah Donadieu from Istanbul and it relates to staffing and career development. He says: With the recent hiring surge, many mid-level Foreign Service positions were ceded to entry level in order to provide positions for those newly minted FSOs. Now that hiring has slowed and the first wave of these hires are approaching mid-level bidding, how does the Department plan to return these positions to the mid level? Is there a timeline for this process?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can tell you and everyone who’s worried about this that HR is developing a plan to move positions where they’re needed, when they’re needed, because we are aware of this problem. This will be done in close consultation with the bureaus, because we obviously don’t want anyone who came in at an entry level to feel like there’s nowhere for them to go. So we’re going to be taking a hard look at this.

I mean, it was one of the good problems we had, like how were we going to quickly incorporate, integrate our new entry-level hires because we had so many of them. And that was our goal – to begin to refill our ranks. But now we have to take a look at what changes have to be made to kind of keep the momentum going for these young – not all young, but many young – entry-level people. So thank you.

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. My name is Susan Johnson. I’m the president of AFSA. And first of all, I’d like to thank you for that excellent and exciting update and overview of QDDR implementation and for your really inspiring advocacy for all of us to embrace change, participate in it, and see what we can do to make our agencies more effective in advancing and protecting U.S. interests. So thank you very much. AFSA really welcomes this. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, President Obama led his State of the Union Address with the remarks, and I’ll quote, “Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought and several thousand gave their lives.” The President continued, “For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.”

Madam Secretary, you know that all of us salute the accomplishments and sacrifices of our military colleagues, and in fact, many in our community are former veterans of the Armed Services. My question is: What are your ideas and thoughts on what the State Department can do to ensure that the American people remember and better appreciate that we all – the men and women of the State Department and our other foreign affairs agencies – are still there, are still in harm’s way, are still taking care of business and advancing the interests of the United States? And the related question: How can AFSA help? (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that’s a very fair question, and we are obviously trying to talk about it, trying to raise the visibility of it. This is the largest post-conflict operation the State Department has ever tried to lead and manage. It’s hard. Many of you have spent time trying to help us with this transition. But I think when I see the President tomorrow, I will mention to him the importance of also having presidential attention to our members of the civilian side of the ledger who are still in Iraq and who are still facing a lot of threats and dangers.

And he is very mindful of that, very grateful for it, and I think will look for an opportunity to try to raise it to a higher visibility. So I thank you very much. And of course, AFSA has been a good partner in all of this work, and we continue to appreciate your support and your constructive criticism. Thank you. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Madam Secretary, we have another synthesis of two similar questions from Elizabeth Williams and Adam Kaufman about the future of the State Department and you in 2013. The State Department has been very fortunate to have an experienced, intelligent, productive, and passionate Secretary these past few years. With the election season – (applause) –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Can we put that first part of the question in writing – (laughter) – so I can put it in front of me when it gets really, really hard? (Laughter.)

MODERATOR: We’ll put it on your EER. (Laughter.) With the election season fast approaching, can you offer any predictions for the State Department after the elections in November? Specifically, are you considering staying on or not? This is the synthesis: What could we do to persuade you to run for Vice President? (Laughter.) After your tenure here comes to an end, what will you do, and what will become of us? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, my goodness. Well, first of all, it’s one of the most extraordinary, wonderful experiences being able to work with all of you, which I am always telling people everywhere, how privileged I am. I think I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the President nominates someone and that transition can occur, but I think after 20 years – and it will be 20 years – of being on the high wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be a – probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am. (Laughter.) Everyone always says that when they leave these jobs.

But I have no reason to have any concerns about the future of this Department and USAID so long as we continue to do what we are doing to really make the case to a broad base of the American public about who we are, what we stand for, the work we do, why it’s important.

And I am looking forward to this year. I don’t want to think about what might come next, because I don’t want me or any of us to divert our attention. I think the best case we can make is to do the work we’re doing every day at the highest possible standards and trying to achieve the best outcomes for our country.

And then the election is going to, I’m sure, suck up a lot of the attention from following areas that we think are so important – trying to resolve frozen conflicts, trying to bring food and healthcare and education to desperately poor people, trying to build up America’s reputation and reality in so many places in the world. But the good news is maybe we can even get more done if they’re not paying attention. (Laughter.) So just factor that in.

And I think from my perspective, I will just work as hard as I can to the last minute I have the honor of being Secretary and certainly do everything, no matter what I do, which I have no idea what it will be, to support all of you. And I am happy to work with Vice President Biden, who does an excellent job and who is a huge advocate and supporter for this Department and for USAID. So it’s a little odd for me to be totally out of an election season since, as Secretary of State, I cannot participate. But I didn’t watch any of those debates. (Laughter and applause.)

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Unfortunately for us, that will have to be last question.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay.

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Because you have another engagement.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you all very, very much. Let’s keep going. (Applause.)

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Today,  with Mme. Secretary traveling and not making public appearances, I thought I would take a moment to revisit a statement she released two days ago on the assassination of Hamid Karzai’s brother.    What stands out about this statement is her tone.  There were many stories out here in cyberland about Ahmed Wali Karzai, his “connections,”  the nature of his dealings,  implications that would probably amount to RICO predicates here in the U.S.

Our Secretary of State is the one who reminds us here that the act that took him down resides within the confines of what we deem terrorism, and she condemns it,  reminding us that this is not an episode of  The Sopranos.  These are people’s lives

Press Statement on the Assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 12, 2011

I called President Karzai today to extend my deepest condolences to him and to his family on the death of Ahmed Wali Karzai. The United States condemns this murder in the strongest terms. For too long, the people of Afghanistan have suffered under the threat of violence, intolerance, and extremism. We join President Karzai in his prayer for peace and stability in Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in their struggle for peace.

Corollary to this statement, and tragically,  Foreign Policy  led this morning with the story of  an additional terror attack at the funeral.   Kandahar’s chief cleric and three others were killed by a suicide bomber at the Red Mosque in Kandahar city.   Suicide bomber attacks Karzai memorial service.

No matter what you think of President Karzai, this is a family tragedy, and the Secretary hit exactly the right note in her message.  No matter where you stand on our military presence in Afghanistan,  here is something to bear in mind.

A  military draw-down will not terminate our presence there.  The model for this is Iraq.  We will remain in Afghanistan, but the operations will be transferred from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom.  The basis for this is what Secretary Clinton has called “smart power,” resting on the tripod of Defense, Diplomacy, and Development.  These triple Ds are the Clinton Doctrine, and we see it working successfully in sharp contrast to “Obama Doctrine” of “leading from behind”.

Secretary Clinton has forged a doctrine for the 21st century that ensures a leadership position for the U.S. by working cooperatively with many allies and, as her QDDR (Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review) has successfully organized, by allocating tasks appropriately among agencies within our own government.

If Hillary Clinton does nothing further in the public domain for the rest of her life,  she will have set this country on a viable leadership course for this century. She has transformed the State Department and placed it and the U.S. in a proactive rather than reactive position for the future as global issues arise.   She has worked hard to accomplish this and leads wisely.  That wisdom is apparent in her brief, powerful message on the death of Mr. Karzai.  It is a strong, compassionate statement from a strong, compassionate leader.

Thank you, Mme. Secretary for your brilliant, diligent, courageous service.  God love you and keep you safe.   You are a leader for our time, and you cast a giant shadow long into the future.

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Secretary Clinton Convenes the Inaugural Global Chiefs of Mission Conference in Washington D.C. Media Coverage Opportunities on February 2

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 1, 2011

On January 31, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton convened the first ever Global Chiefs of Mission Conference. This will be the first time U.S. Ambassadors will gather from around the world simultaneously. The Conference, which runs through February 4, presents an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize and coordinate the work of America’s Ambassadors overseas.

A principal aim of the conference will be to prepare for the implementation of the recommendations in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which Secretary Clinton announced last month.

Credentialed members of the media will have three opportunities to cover the Conference on Wednesday, February 2:

8:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the first ever Global Chiefs of Mission Conference, in the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the Department of State.

(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR OPENING REMARKS)

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Global Chiefs of Mission Conference luncheon with guest speaker Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Ben Franklin Room at the Department of State.

(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR OPENING REMARKS BY SECRETARY CLINTON AND ADMIRAL MULLEN)

1:45 p.m. Administrator Shah delivers remarks on Development to the Inaugural Global Chiefs of Mission Conference, in the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the Department of State.

(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

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