Washington, D.C.- On May 16th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine, hosted a Global Town Hall with Civil Society Representatives. Martha H. Smith, USMF President and CEO, was in attendance alongside numerous dignitaries from over 40 countries and U.S. government officials.
Martha Smith joined the panel of Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka, John Hartnett, President & Founder of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, and Daniel Wadsworth, President & CEO of the American Refugee Committee to discuss Innovations for Giving Back under the moderation of Kathleen Newland from the Migration Policy Institute. When asked how diaspora communities can successfully reach out to their home countries, Martha Smith stressed the importance of building personal relationships, such as how the Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI) has done with their People-to-People program (P2P). P2P has been incredibly successful in this aspect as they have partnered the San Antonio community with Chenalhó, Chiapas, Mexico to create a better standard of living for its citizens.
Following the remarks of Mr. Hartnett concerning the number of foreign-born individuals that have risen to success in the United States, a question concerning dual-citizenship came from the audience. “I can only think of good things that can come from dual citizenship,” stated Martha Smith with whom the remaining members of the panel agreed.
The Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society was created in February of 2011 in order to increase U.S. involvement with civil societies across the globe. Secretary Clinton announced new policy recommendations that will further fulfill the Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.
For more information on the dialogue, please click here.