Speeches

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Assalamu aleikum and good evening.

I’m delighted to be here tonight to share in this celebration of the holy month of Ramadan. It is always pleasure and an honor for me to attend Iftar, whether it is in Bangladesh where I am currently Mission Director, or in Egypt, where I served from 1997 to 2001, or other Muslim-majority countries I’ve had the opportunity to visit. I am especially pleased to have the chance to celebrate here in the United States with all of you this evening.

Ramadan is probably best known for the ritual of daily fasting. But Ramadan is also a time for reflection, devotion, generosity, discipline, and sacrifice. And for all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the values of peace, of sharing, of family and community are universal values that we all share -- regardless of faith or nationality.

These values are also fundamental to the goals and objectives of our work in development, where we try—everyday—to make the world a better place—a more prosperous place, a more healthy place, or a more fair and harmonious place for all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or other difference.

During Ramadan, people from all walks of life – from rickshaw wallahs and day-laborers, to school-teachers, doctors and CEOs – adhere to the day-long fast. Doing so takes strong commitment since currently, Ramadan coincides with some of the longest and hottest days of the year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 3:45am

It is a great honor for me to be in a room full of people committed to combating trafficking in persons.  The United States Government and I, personally, care deeply about this issue.  Let me first thank Microsoft and Ms. Tony Town-Whitley for hosting this conference and the United Nations agencies for their contributions.  The United States is proud to join Microsoft and the UN in their commitment to combat human trafficking. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 5:45am

Good afternoon, Ambassador Michael McKinley, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, HE Humayoon Rasaw, Minister of Commerce and Industries, HE Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Minister of Finance, distinguished guests.  I am pleased to welcome you here to the American Embassy for the launch of the Afghanistan Investment Climate Reform program, continuing the important work USAID and the IFC/World Bank Group have undertaken to strengthen the business climate in Afghanistan. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 5:30am

Greetings, opening remarks and formalities

Today we are celebrating an important event – and reminding ourselves to stay focused on ensuring becoming a mother is an occasion of joy, not tragedy. 

Reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality and morbidity remain among the highest priorities of the Ministry of Public Health and of the United States Agency for International Development both here in Afghanistan and globally.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 5:30am

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Good morning. I am very pleased to be here at today’s event. I congratulate the Ministry of Public Health for launching the Health Economic Exchange Forum.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 2:00pm

Afghanistan has made remarkable achievements over the last 12 years, some of the most dramatic of which are in the growing access to health care services and the resulting improvement in health outcomes.  Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of the Ministry of Public Health, and with the support of USAID and the international community, maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan have declined by 80 percent and child mortality rates by almost 50 percent.

Monday, June 8, 2015 - 11:00am

Good Morning.

I’m delighted to see all of you here, coming together to address climate change, one of the most critical challenges facing our planet. You gather in this beautiful town at an auspicious time, as later this year the world’s leaders will gather in Paris to develop a new global strategy to address climate change.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 12:30pm

One of the most common questions I have received over the past eight months has been, “after more than 30 years in the army — and having served as ambassador to Tanzania, why did you come to USAID?” Well to me, the answer is simple. Having deployed across the world, I have seen how the United States’ development efforts represent the vanguard of our national and economic security.

Because time and again, we have seen the intersection of extreme ideology, extreme poverty, and extreme climate routinely push millions of people to the edge of survival and challenge our collective security. To confront these realities, USAID is focusing — as an agency — with renewed energy on answering President Obama’s call to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 9:30am

Welcome to USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia. As we prepare to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, we would like to share some information about what the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is doing to help protect biodiversity by fighting wildlife crime. We also would like to talk about how we are reaching out to others to find innovative ways to deal with this very important issue, including from our own Regional Development Mission here in Bangkok.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 4:30pm

I’d like to offer a few closing reflections to what I’m sure was a fascinating day-long conversation. I regret not being able to join you for the entire event. But I am glad that Alexandra, Vanita, Sylvia and others from USAID were here to talk more in depth about our efforts in the region.

Friday, May 8, 2015 - 8:30am

In the increasingly integrated regional economy, businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, will need to understand the benefits of the AEC. Along with that understanding, they will also need access to technology, innovation and finance that will help them take advantage of the opportunities the AEC offers. But businesses are made up of more than technology and capital. They are run by people. Businesses will also need a strong and vibrant workforce that will help them innovate and grow. And as you all know, ASEAN’s focus on human resource development is particularly important for the workforce of the newer ASEAN member states – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The good news is that these countries have booming economies and industries in ASEAN targeted sectors, such as tourism, food processing, electronics, and construction.

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Last updated: June 29, 2015

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