2019 DRG Partners Forum: USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick Closing Remarks

2019 DRG Partners Forum: USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick Closing Remarks


Danielle: At this point, it is my sincere honor and pleasure to introduce Miss Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator for USAID. Miss
Glick began her career as a foreign service officer at the State Department,
where she served in various missions around the globe; and in Washington she
served in the ops center, in the White House Situation Room, and in the
Department’s Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs. So a long history in
the Foreign Service and a deep understanding of the work that we do.
Another interesting thing I found in her biography is that she’s actually poly lingual. Any guesses as to how many languages she speaks? She speaks seven different languages. Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, Amharic, French, Russian, and of course English. We all know that this takes real dedication. Most recently, Miss Glick served as Deputy Secretary of the Maryland State Department of Aging, and also is the Senior Vice President at the Meridian
International Center. Of course, she’s currently our Deputy Administrator and she’s very happy to be with us, and we’re very lucky to have her. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you miss Bonnie Glick. Bonnie: Danielle, thank you very much
for the kind introduction and to all of you who are here today, thank you very
much for your warm welcome. It’s been a long day for all of you and it’s a
pleasure to be here at the end to speak with people who are so dedicated and so
passionate to the work that we do, But that we couldn’t do without our
implementing partners all over the world. So, USAID is here to thank you and to
instill in you an additional dedication to moving forward
particularly since we include all of our implementing partners in the photo
contest as well, so keep that up. Those
submissions were fantastic and I can’t imagine what it was like to go through
the other photos who didn’t make it quite to the top ten. Your commitment here and around the world to advancing fundamental freedoms, promoting democracy, and strengthening human rights around the world is inspiring to all of us. It reflects the best of who we are as a country and it continues the long and
proud tradition of America serving as a beacon of hope for others. After all, it
was the Massachusetts Bay colonists who, before they had even set sail for the
shores of New England, appeared to be a city upon a hill– a model that others
might follow. That noble vision that was embraced by each generation of Americans and as articulated by President Ronald Reagan, imagines a country that is teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace, humming with
commerce and creativity. Our founding fathers knew that the foundation of such a country could only be freedom. The freedom to believe, to speak, and to
assemble. They also knew that equality and equal protection before the law was
an essential safeguard against tyranny of the majority. Democracy, the ability to
select one’s government and vote out those who are unresponsive to
citizens wishes, would be the mechanism by which the people would ensure that
their needs were met. Our development since that aspirational beginning hasn’t gone flawlessly, of course. We have occasionally failed to live up to our ideals, but we’ve always learned from our mistakes and continued to strive for
more free, more just, and a more prosperous future. In many ways, USAID is the outward projection of those American values and
those lessons learned. In working with partner countries, we offer our
assistance and say: we believe that there’s a better way. Learn from our
successes and learn from our failures. That approach, which is honest, has
produced a great many achievements. All over the world, we’ve helped to expand
economic opportunity, to reduce maternal and child mortality, to increase food
security, and to combat the spread of infectious diseases and it’s your work
that makes it all happen. Yours is the most cross-cutting of all
sectors, the underlying lattice upon which all of our investments are built.
Without strong democratic institutions, fundamental freedoms, and citizen
responsive governance, none of this progress is possible or sustainable. We
know from experience that each country’s journey to self-reliance must begin with
a free and democratic foundation. It represents, quite simply, the best chance for success. This morning fundamental freedoms are under renewed attack in many places around the world. Authoritarians have developed new,
particularly subversive tactics to undermine the spirit of democracy and
hard-won democratic gains, thought by some to be permanent and assured, are now seen to be at risk in some countries. These threats do not represent
democracy’s terminal decline. The spirit of freedom which burns brightly in each
human spirit is too strong to be snuffed out by a few bad actors, however loud and stubborn they may be. Courageous activists will continue to
put their freedom and sometimes their very lives on the line in pursuit of a
brighter future and USAID will continue to stand in solidarity with them. It’s
our work and it’s our task together to develop new innovative approaches to
combat these threats and to lift up human rights defenders in places where
authoritarians try to push them down. We need to continue to
strengthen civil society so that those who are participating in it can
effectively advocate for citizen responsive governance, particularly for
marginalized and vulnerable populations. And we need to redouble our efforts to
engage youth and the next generation of leadership because they
are the best and brightest hope for sustainable change. For our DRG staff, I hope that these past few days have brought us closer to those goals and
that the working sessions have afforded you an opportunity to learn from your
colleagues and from those of us who are here in Washington. Please do not let the
dialogue end today. Maintain these relationships that you’ve formed over the course of this week and continue the conversations when you return to your
posts. Your experiences, freely shared amongst each other, are one of our
Agency’s greatest assets. And for our partners who participated today, I hope that today’s session will have helped to strengthen our collaboration and that
you leave here with a better understanding of how USAID integrates
democracy, human rights and governance programming within the self-reliance
framework. Our relationship, of course, doesn’t end here today either. We rely on your critical insights, so please continue to
share your observations and to share your perspectives. Continue to push us to
be stronger and to be bolder in all that we do. So again, I want to thank all of
you. Thank you for being our partners to carry forth our country’s legacy. Thank
you for being such champions of American values and helping to shine the light of
freedom and democracy on every continent. Thank you for your dedication to making
the world a more free, a more just, and a more prosperous place and I wish you all
Godspeed on your journeys.

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