Global Leaders Network Award Reception at the United States Institute of Peace

Global Leaders Network Award Reception at the United States Institute of Peace

Publication info


Remarks by Michèle Flournoy, Recipient of the Global Peace, Development, and Security Award

June 11, 2019


"I am so honored to receive this award and to be in such inspiring company. I want to accept it on behalf of my wonderful colleagues on the CARE board who understand the power of investing in women and girls to lift whole communities out of poverty, and those of my colleagues in the U.S. military and the broader national security community who have seen first-hand the transformational impact of this work, who have become champions for using all of our national power and influence- including humanitarian and development assistance- to create a more stable, secure, and prosperous world.

"Early in my first tour in the Pentagon, some 25 years ago, I personally learned how important it is to invest in robust humanitarian and development tools alongside a strong military. One of my first assignments as a brand-new civilian in the Pentagon in the early 1900s was to assess the strategic lessons to be learned from our failed mission in Somalia. Those lessons then informed how we went about planning for subsequent operations in Haiti and then the Balkans. One of the most critical lessons we learned from Somalia was the importance of integrating our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian-development efforts into a broader, unified strategy. We came to understand that the deployment of military forces in such contingencies can only take us so far towards our goals. Yes, the military can help establish a more secure environment and, over time, help build the capacity of local forces to maintain that security- but lasting change requires other tools like diplomacy, peace processes, and development assistance to create new political and economic realities that can transform a society over time.

"This is not a new lesson. We learned this in the aftermath of World War II in places like South Korea and Japan, and in Europe, where CARE enabled Americans to send the original “CARE packages” to refugees who needed some basic assistance to begin rebuilding their lives.

"But, too often, we seem to forget this lesson as a nation, underfunding the very diplomatic and development tools that are so critical to safeguarding our national security and building the capacity of our allies and partners around the world.

"So, I am heartened to see so many members of Congress on the Host Committee and here today. Each of them has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring that the United States invests in smart, impactful humanitarian and development programs as a matter of national security. I salute your leadership.

"Finally, I want to salute everyone on the CARE team. You inspire us every day with your commitment and service and impact- reaching tens of millions of people around the world each day, reducing global poverty, championing human dignity, and empowering women and girls like no other organization on the planet.

"Thanks to CARE, thousands of girls have access to education they wouldn’t have otherwise. Thanks to CARE, millions of women have been able to lift their families and villages out of grinding poverty through Village Savings and Loans programs, entrepreneurial and leadership training that has enabled them to start small businesses, and technical assistance on improved farming methods that have dramatically increased crop yields, and their ability to export to new food markets. Thanks to CARE, millions of women have had access to maternal healthcare, dramatically reducing infant mortality rates in some of the poorest countries.

"I am so honored to be on the CARE board and to accept this award on behalf of CARE’s extraordinary team."

Honorees José Andrés and Michèle Flournoy (center) with USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg and Senator Sam Nunn.