TLC Newsletter: The Lugar Center Celebrates Its First Year
It’s been a busy start of the year at The Lugar Center (TLC). This month we celebrate our first anniversary since establishing ourselves as an organization dedicated to making a difference in tackling global issues such as food and energy security, nuclear non-proliferation, and foreign aid effectiveness.
As an advocate for eradicating global hunger through improved agricultural technologies and more efficient foreign assistance, I had the opportunity to speak to a number of groups. In January, I received the American Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award before an audience of 7,000 people. I have always found U.S. farmers to be very receptive to improving the plight of farmers in underdeveloped countries. TLC senior staff also engaged the Agricultural Minister from Zambia who came to The Lugar Center to discuss the potential for collaborative efforts.
We seek to adhere to evidenced based research and advocacy. Toward that end, TLC staff have created a new product – Resources for Researchers – a compilation of major research papers and commentary on various issues that complicate the challenge of feeding a world of 9 billion people by 2050. The first ones on orphan crops, biodiversity, land tenure, and genetic engineering are available now and will be supplemented with other topics in the future.
Keeping the issue of hunger at the forefront of policy debates is helped when we have greater confidence that U.S. foreign assistance is reaching those in need and building the capacity of developing countries to take charge of their own development. We at TLC are part of the leadership of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s (MFAN) work to strengthen the U.S. commitment to transparency, accountability, and country ownership. At CARE’s annual conference, I had the pleasure of talking about these issues to a very motivated group of volunteers. As USAID seeks to be at the forefront of innovation, I talked about the role of innovation in feeding the world’s hungry for a video for their Global Development Lab that Administrator Shah officially launched in New York last week.
Last month TLC launched a new policy area in bipartisan governance which I believe is of critical importance to the continued performance of the United States government and the economic well-being of the American people. At the annual George Herbert Walker lecture at Yale, I advocated for greater bipartisanship in dealing with pressing policy issues. While foreign policy was often exempt from partisan sentiment in the past, it is increasingly seen as fair game for partisan battles.
In partnership with the Arms Control Association, we have continued to host productive discussions on timely nuclear and WMD security issues for policymakers. We have succeeded in creating and sustaining a bipartisan audience, focusing on issues such as nuclear spending and negotiations with Iran. We soon will post an expanding series of informative interviews with key practitioners on dynamics related to controlling nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
It has been a rewarding start to 2014. We are finding innumerable opportunities to strengthen policy, and educational organizations are seeking our input. We are dedicated to working with other organizations to increase our voice and nurture new ideas for a more stable and prosperous world.
Richard G. Lugar
President, The Lugar Center
United States Senator (Ret.)