2021 Speeches

Speeches Shim

Last updated: November 30, 2021

May 3, 2021

This is a proud and humbling day.  Of the many blessings I've had in my life, none -- none has matched the privilege of serving my country.  And I'm really honored to do so again on behalf of President Biden.  To serve alongside all of you, the superb development professionals of this indispensable agency.  The truth is, I wanted to be one of you.  When I decided to head off to the Balkans in my early 20s, I initially tried to find work as an aid worker in the hopes of directly attending to the suffering there.  But sadly, I quickly realized I didn't have the skills.  I wasn't an engineer or a health or agriculture specialist.  Indeed, as a liberal arts major with an excessive interest in Major League Baseball, I had no technical expertise whatsoever.  What I did have was a passport and a notebook and, after much debate, a laptop that my mother bought me.  So, I became a war correspondent. 

April 15, 2021

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and its emerging variants demonstrates that no nation can act alone in a global pandemic. Vaccinating as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, is the only way to reduce the tragic loss of life, end the pandemic, and move us toward economic and social recovery. However, as many have emphasized today, we must root our efforts in equity in order to achieve success. Multilateral cooperation, through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment, and more broadly within the ACT Accelerator, is key to ensuring that people everywhere receive safe and effective vaccines against a virus that knows no bounds.

March 23, 2021

As all of you know, reliable access to safe water and sanitation saves lives, promotes economic growth, and transforms communities. USAID’s investments in this sector ensure that our partner countries can keep their economies functioning and their citizens healthy. Never has this been more important than now, as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 23, 2021

If confirmed, I will work to strengthen the institution of USAID and invest in the capabilities of the agencies dedicated 10,000 foreign service officers, civil servants, locally employed staff, contractors and other personnel. This means seeking out and amplifying their insights, learning about specific local needs and adapting our programs. It means addressing the issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and advancement within USAID's workforce. And it means emphasizing what President Biden himself and both of you, I think already have stressed, development is critical to America's ability to tackle the toughest problems of our time: economic, humanitarian, and geopolitical.

March 8, 2021

Every year, on March 8th, we celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls globally. Earlier this year, the United States swore in the first female Vice President in our nation's history. Today, there are 22 female heads of state and heads of government around the world. However, March 8th also reminds us of the significant amount of work that needs to be done to address the obstacles that women and girls face. All over the world, for example, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation for women as mothers, caregivers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and all the other roles that they play.