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Speeches and Testimony



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.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Data, information, and evidence are the cornerstone of all successful development programs – especially in health – and USAID is strongly committed to using these valuable tools. The Demographic and Health Surveys are one of USAID’s most successful initiatives worldwide; DHS reports have been produced in more than 80 different countries.


Friday, March 27, 2015

I am delighted to be with you today on the beautiful campus of Dhaka University to open the International Conference on Gender, Diversity, and Development. Today, and throughout this event, we celebrate the achievements that Bangladesh has made in empowering women. More importantly, this conference provides a platform for us all to discuss the challenges ahead – challenges that we must address now – to fully affect change and achieve true equality for all women and girls.


Monday, March 9, 2015

On behalf of USAID, I am delighted to be here today to celebrate International Women’s Day and to honor the accomplishments of women throughout the world, but most particularly in Bangladesh. Over the past four decades, Bangladeshi women have made enormous strides. They have achieved political empowerment, better job prospects, and improved education. Women have been the engine behind the amazing growth of the ready-made garment industry, which is now number 2 in the world – second only to China. Women now constitute approximately 80 percent of the workforce in this hugely important industry.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

We are here today to celebrate our 2015 Human Rights Champions. On behalf of USAID, I am delighted to be here and delighted to see all of you here to honor people from communities all over Bangladesh who have distinguished themselves in the fight against domestic violence, child marriage, dowry and other forms of human rights abuse.