Launched last year, the Foreign Service Champions Award recognizes the accomplishments and achievements of individuals or groups from Congress, the military, or other influential non-career members of the foreign affairs community who have made meaningful contributions to diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. This year AFSA is pleased to recognize an outstanding organization that has advocated for the critical role the Foreign Service plays in shaping U.S. foreign policy and has had an enduring impact on the diplomatic profession: the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC).
USGLC is the preeminent advocacy network working to strengthen America’s investments in diplomacy and development, alongside defense. Often called the “strange bedfellows” coalition, USGLC brings together more than 500 businesses and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with retired military officers, veterans, faith leaders, mayors, and farmers across the country. AFSA is a member organization and works closely with USGLC.
Established in 1995 in response to a rise in isolationist voices following the Cold War, today the broad-based USGLC coalition—led by powerhouse advocate Liz Schrayer—educates and engages in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 states on the importance of U.S. leadership around the world to advance America’s security and economic interests. Advocating for robust investments in the U.S. international affairs budget, the coalition engages Republican and Democratic champions and supporters from Capitol Hill to the White House.
The USGLC’s board of directors, advisory councils, state advisory committees, and networks—like Veterans for Smart Power and Farmers for Prosperity—bring together a strong bipartisan group of distinguished leaders, including former Secretaries of State and defense, members of Congress, and more than 250 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, along with executives from some of the nation’s top businesses and nonprofits to make the case why leading globally matters locally.
With an expanding footprint around the country, USGLC hosts dozens of public town halls every year with members of Congress from the Freedom Caucus to the Progressive Caucus in their home districts. USGLC also seeks to educate the public and candidates running for the White House and Congress about foreign policy issues and how diplomacy and global development connect to kitchen table issues here at home.
USGLC continues to be a leading voice on the value of diplomacy, the importance of a strong Foreign Service for keeping America safe, and on how businesses and NGOs are partnering with the U.S. government—including the State Department and USAID—to find solutions to the world’s toughest challenges.
Accepting the award on behalf of USGLC was Liz Schrayer, the organization’s president and chief executive officer. Under Schrayer’s leadership, USGLC has grown from a D.C. advocacy group to a nationwide network of advocates in every state.
Schrayer said she is “always inspired by the professionalism, dedication, and passion of our nation’s diplomatic team that is working on behalf of the American people all around the world. It’s why receiving this award from AFSA is such an honor, because the true heroes are all of our fellow citizens who serve—often in harm’s way—to make our world and our country a safer and better place.”
Schrayer also currently serves on the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s Development Advisory Council and USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, as well as several advisory boards and committees for the University of Michigan, including the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
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