US Global Engagement - Center Highlights Priority Actions for “Putting Smart Power to Work”

New Report Released at Event Featuring Deputy Secretary of State Lew and

Panel Discussion with Woodruff, Powell, Leach, Menendez and Sherman

Washington, DC — The Center for U.S. Global Engagement today released “Putting Smart Power to Work: An Action Agenda for the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress,” distilling over 20 recent reports on revitalizing America’s civilian capacity in global affairs into seven priority actions for President Obama and Congress to consider for successfully implementing a “smart power” approach to global engagement. As part of the report’s release this morning, the Center will host remarks from Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew and a panel discussion moderated by PBS’ Judy Woodruff and including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA), U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Ambassador Wendy Sherman, a Principal at the Albright Group LLC. A live 8:30am webcast of the event, along with copies of the report, can be found at


Releasing the report, Center Executive Director Liz Schrayer said, “Over the past two years there have been dozens of reports about what America needs to do to revamp our foreign policy and national security agenda. Our analysis distills over 20 reports, with 2,000 pages and ideas of 500 expert contributors into an impressive, bipartisan consensus that now it is time to turn smart power from a slogan into a reality by strengthening our civilian capacity.”


According to the report, available at, the seven actions the United States should take to address the global challenges of the 21st century with a modernized approach that effectively utilizes its civilian capacity are:


1. Formulate a comprehensive national security or global development strategy that articulates and elevates the role of development and diplomacy alongside defense;

2. Increase substantially funding and resources for civilian-led agencies and programs, especially through USAID and the State Department;

3. Elevate and streamline the U.S. foreign assistance apparatus to improve policy and program coherence and coordination;

4. Reform Congressional involvement and oversight, including revamping the Foreign Assistance Act;

5. Integrate civilian and military instruments to deal with weak and fragile states;

6. Rebalance authorities for certain foreign assistance activities currently under the Department of Defense to civilian agencies;

7. Strengthen U.S. support for international organizations and other tools of international cooperation.


These priority actions provide the Administration and Congress with a roadmap for achieving a smart power strategy, and narrow the list of issues requiring further debate. With this roadmap, it is time for the Administration and Congress to act. In this time of global economic crisis, it is crucial for America to be proactive in engaging the world and investing in long-term development efforts that promote stability, protect us from future crises, and develop new markets to reinvigorate our economy.




The Center for U.S. Global Engagement (, the educational arm of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, unites business, civic, military, faith-based, and political leaders around the country to broaden understanding of America’s interests in building a better, safer world.


The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign ( is a broad-based, nationwide coalition of businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community leaders that advocates for a strong U.S. International Affairs Budget. Members of the USGLC – a vibrant, influential network of 400 organizations and thousands of individuals – engage policymakers in the nation’s capital and educate the public around the country to build support for these essential programs.