Partners for a New Beginning

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Partners for a New Beginning
Abbreviation PNB
Motto Broadening and Deepening Engagement Between the U.S. and Local Communities
Type Public-Private Partnership
Headquarters Washington, DC
Secretary Clinton Announces Partners for A New Beginning with Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Walter Isaacson, and Barclay Resler at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, April 27, 2010.

In his "A New Beginning" speech on June 4, 2009, at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, President of the United States Barack Obama stated that "I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." During the speech, he also committed to "host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world".[1]

To support the President's "New Beginning" goals, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched Partners for a New Beginning along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Walter Isaacson (President of The Aspen Institute), and Muhtar Kent (Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company) on April 27, 2010. Leading the initiative on the State Department side is Kris Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships. In addition to its presence in the United States, PNB has established 11 local chapters across the Middle East and North Africa and, along with its partners, has launched, expanded or pledged support for more than 70 projects since the partnership’s inception in September 2010.[2]


In an official signing ceremony in conjunction with the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship on April 27, 2010, the U.S. Department of State entered into a partnership with Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) - a group of eminent Americans from a variety of sectors who will reach out systematically to private sector entities at the highest level to harness private sector resources and capabilities to advance New Beginning programs and goals. This partnership was officially announced during Secretary Clinton's remarks at the close of the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.[3]

The four main areas of focus for PNB include:

  • Economic opportunity: advancing entrepreneurship, business support services, and increasing access to capital;
  • Science and technology: supporting local labs, universities, and other institutions that advance innovation;
  • Education: advancing access to educational tools and building human capacity to equip people for employment opportunities;
  • Exchange: advancing human connectedness, understanding, and people-to-people ties.[4]

As Secretary Clinton explained at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, "For example, they might reach out to companies to provide equipment and technology for the Scientific Centers of Excellence overseas, or help launch internships and mentoring programs for emerging business leaders, or encourage angel investors in this country to partner with angel investors abroad. Through collaborations like these, Partners for a New Beginning will deepen ties between our people and institutions, and give more Americans the chance to contribute to this common endeavor."[3]


Emphasizing PNB’s significant investment in North Africa, the U.S. Department of State announced the launch of the U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) in December 2010 at the U.S.-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference in Algiers, Algeria, PNB-NAPEO aims to promote intra-regional cooperation among entrepreneurs in the Maghreb and developing stronger people-to-people relationships between the United States and the Maghreb. In this framework, the public and private sectors in the U.S. and the Maghreb work in cooperation to identify and implement specific projects and programs in the areas of entrepreneurship, education & research, science & technology and arts & culture.

The Partnership focuses on five major initiatives:

  • The Young Business Leaders and Associations Network
  • The Leadership and Training Academy
  • The Innovation and Technology Incubator
  • The Creative Industries Incubator
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship Excellence

These initiatives work with regional partners to develop economic opportunity and entrepreneurship in the region both online and offline through mentorship programs and training academies that focus on areas of education, technology, and the arts.

NAPEO partners include: Intel Corporation, Education for Employment, Center for Research Development Foundation, The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship, Creative Leaps International, the Algeria Start-Up Initiative, and the South Mediterranean University School of Management in Tunisia.[5]

Steering Committee Members[edit]

On September 22, 2010, PNB inaugurated the full PNB Steering Committee and announced the following commitment:

Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) commits to broaden and deepen engagement between the U.S. and international Muslim communities by building public-private partnerships that advance economic opportunity, science and technology, education, and exchange. Over the next five years, these partnerships will increase access to financing, business capacity and development services, improve educational opportunities for students and teachers, foster physical and virtual exchange programs, and enhance science and technology solutions that will positively impact up to 500,000 people across PNB targeted countries.[6]

Video from the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment:

PNB is chaired by Madeleine K. Albright, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, and she is joined by PNB Vice Chairs Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, and Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The PNB Steering Committee Members are as follows:

Local chapters[edit]

PNB has established 11 local chapters across North Africa and the Middle East in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey and the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia). Local chapters are being formed in Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Mauritania. These chapters act as locally-driven, self-operational committees whose objectives include identifying country-specific priorities and gaps, identifying projects that address these gaps, and, working with local and US partners to implement projects that target these needs.[8]

Members at Large[edit]

On Tuesday, May 31 2011, the Aspen Institute announced the following Members at Large[9] – organizations committed to working with other partners and PNB Local Chapters to carry out targeted and set revenue-generating and/or philanthropic commitments for the benefit of Muslim communities in PNB targeted countries.

Members at large include:

Statements of support[edit]

President Obama, during his visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, on November 9, 2010, stated that "Many of the partnerships I’ve mentioned are a direct result of my call in Cairo for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities around the world. And it involves the private sector as well, thanks to efforts like Partners for a New Beginning, which is forging partnerships around science, education and entrepreneurship."[10]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during the launch of PNB at the White House on April 27, 2010, said, "I think that this is one of those occasions in the diplomatic history of our country that we will look back on and say that that made a difference.... Partners for a New Beginning will tap into the dynamism and innovation of U.S. industry in a number of ways—for example, by encouraging companies to contribute equipment or technology to the Centers of Scientific Excellence we are developing overseas, or by facilitating partnerships between universities here and those abroad to share knowledge and improve business education. They will also encourage investors and mentors in the United States to recognize the tremendous potential that resides in Muslim-majority communities, where many entrepreneurs are working against significant obstacles to turn their dreams into reality."[11]

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, during the launch of PNB at the White House on April 27, 2010, said, "These projects can go much further to strengthening the bonds between the United States and the citizens of Muslim-majority nations, and to do so based on a philosophy – and I think we should keep repeating these words – mutual understanding, mutual interests, and mutual respect... I did learn ... the real importance about public-private partnerships and the great difference that can be made when businesses get involved with nongovernmental organizations and the government in order to really propel issues forward."[11]

Assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs Jose Fernandez, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "America's culture of entrepreneurship is not only one of our country's greatest assets, it's one of our easiest exports to sell… Our North African partnership supports the development of such an entrepreneurial culture by connecting entrepreneurs, investors, universities and foundations in the U.S. and the Maghreb. It also fosters ministerial policy dialogues—about best practices, increased economic integration and the like—between U.S. and North African officials. Our goal is to build a network that will include 100,000 people in the Maghreb in the next five years. We want to help turn the social drive that fueled the Arab Spring into an entrepreneurial fire that fulfills its aspirations by creating jobs."[12]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

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