Bill Gates delivered an address at a dinner held by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition honoring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.
The event was co-chaired by Deloitte’s Robin Lineberger.
Albright and Ridge co-chair the group’s “Putting Smart Power to Work” campaign.
The group, consisting of security and foreign policy experts and academic leaders, promotes “a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.”
In his speech, Gates urged federal policymakers to continue to invest in foreign assistance to boost U.S. economic interests.
“Well-spent aid is uniquely effective among all the different kinds of spending our government does, ” Gates said. “Growth in poor economies will be an engine of our own economy, and our success is tied to the progress of those around us. The investments we make today in the developing world will help create the jobs of tomorrow here in America. Right now, the tough choice is to maintain foreign assistance, not to cut it. Right now, the bold act of leadership is to defend spending on key international programs, not to attack it.”
CARE CEO Helene Gayle joined Lineberger as the event’s co-chair while ABC News and NPR Correspondent Cokie Roberts served as master of ceremonies.