U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

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U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
USGLC Logo.jpg
Type Non-profit organization
  • 1129 20th St NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20036
Key people
Liz Shrayer
(Executive Director)
Website www.usglc.org
Formerly called
U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, Center for U.S. Global Leadership

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is an influential, broad-based organization formed by a coalition of 400 American businesses and NGOs, senior national security and foreign policy experts, and diverse range of community leaders from across the country who promote increased support for the United States’ diplomatic and development efforts amongst both politicians and the public.[1]

Based in Washington D.C., the USGLC advocates a stronger International Affairs Budget in order to enhance national security, forward American business interests, and improve humanitarian assistance around the world. The International Affairs Budget (a.k.a. the 150 Account) is a component of the U.S. federal budget that funds a breadth of U.S. State Department activities, aid to Israel,[2] international development programs, and many other civilian-led programs abroad (including civilian reconstruction teams and democratic governance projects in Iraq and Afghanistan).[3]


The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition has multiple Leadership and Advisory Boards consisting of some of the nation’s most prominent corporate, non-profit, military, and political leaders. The Washington Post has referred to the USGLC as the “strange bedfellows” coalition because of the diverse mix of corporate and non-profit members that often don’t see eye-to-eye on other issues but has united behind calls for a stronger International Affairs Budget.[4]

The two branches—the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and the Center for U.S. Global leadership—maintain separate boards, which are chaired by George Ingram of the Academy for Educational Development and Daniel Glickman of the Bipartisan Policy Center, respectively.[5] The Advisory Council is led by former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell and includes numerous former Secretaries, Senators, Representatives, and National Security Advisors of both political parties, from Madeleine Albright to Bill Frist to Henry Kissinger.[6]

The USGLC also maintains two issue-specific Advisory Councils, one that focuses on the importance of the International Affairs Budget to national security, and one that focuses on its importance to American businesses. The National Security Advisory Council is made up of 67 retired military officers (53 of whom were four-star Generals or Admirals) and the Business Advisory Council is chaired by Land O'Lakes CEO Chris Policinski.

Liz Shrayer is the Founder and Executive Director.[7]


USGLC was established in 1995 as the “U.S. Global Leadership Campaign” when a diverse group of companies, NGOs, and foreign policy experts rallied together in response to Congressional funding cuts to the International Affairs Budget. Viewing diplomacy and international development programs as essential to improving national security and creating conditions for business expansion into new and friendly markets, the Coalition sought to engage with Capitol Hill, the White House, and local organizations from across the United States and educate them on the importance of the International Affairs Budget to Americans’ security and prosperity.[8]

In July 2009, the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and the Center for U.S. Global Leadership, which had been created in 2004 to focus on the education rather than advocacy piece, restructured and took on the single name of “U.S. Global Leadership Coalition,” while still retaining their separate 501-c(4) and 501-c(3) legal statuses. Since the USGLC was formed, the International Affairs Budget has grown by more than 40%.

Impact `08[edit]

During the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, the USGLC ran a campaign entitled “Impact `08: Building a Better, Safer World” to engage with each campaign and with voters and shine the spotlight on the International Affairs Budget. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci signed on as National Co-Chairs and launched the effort at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in July 2007.[9]

Impact `08 held events throughout the country (particularly in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, and other battlegrounds) that brought together each state’s most prominent political, business, and community leaders to discuss specifically how federal diplomacy and development programs abroad benefited their local economy. USGLC leadership also met with senior figures on every candidate’s campaign pressing them to provide a more detailed plan on foreign policy and the role of development and serving as a resource for campaigns’ questions regarding the International Affairs Budget. The Coalition also hosted a series on “Salon Dinners” during the election with policy and journalist elites to discuss the role of diplomacy and development in the forthcoming Presidency. Attendees included Colin Powell, Bill Gates, Tom Daschle, and others.

The same day that the government published its “Plum Book” listing of available jobs for the incoming Administration, the USGLC released the “Global Plum Book,” a document that cataloged the top 100 positions across the new Obama Administration that would strongly impact the policies and programs for development and diplomacy. The Coalition identified hundreds of Democrats and Republicans that could potentially fill these positions and held meetings with these individuals to educate them on the Coalition’s priorities. The book was released during a widely attended forum on the transition moderated by Jim Lehrer of the PBS NewsHour.[10]

Putting Smart Power to Work[edit]

After the 2008 Election, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition launched “Putting Smart Power to Work,” an initiative to work at both the grassroots level and directly with members of Congress in prioritizing and expanding the International Affairs Budget during the Obama Administration. The Coalition has continued to expand its grassroots network to develop a stronger voice amongst politicians’ constituents and meets frequently with members of Congress and the Obama Administration.

As part of “Putting Smart Power to Work,” the USGLC announced that it is partnering with numerous veterans groups under the banner of “Veterans for Smart Power” to encourage veterans to voice their support for civilian programs that complement the military’s efforts abroad.[11] The Coalition is expected to launch the petition on July 4, 2010.