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NDTO News Article

ND Leaders Unite With U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Part of North Dakota’s unique position in a troubled economy has been the state’s ability to look outside of its borders and invest in the global economy.  To complement growth based on exporting, trade missions, cultural exchanges and educational programming, a group of international business leaders from North Dakota has joined forces with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) to create the USGLC North Dakota Advisory Committee.  This group of business, humanitarian and educational leaders will work to give North Dakotans a voice on foreign policy and international programs.  Specifically, all members of the North Dakota Advisory Committee have lent their name in support of the International Affairs Budget and its importance to the state.

“The dedicated leaders on our Advisory Committee know what a tremendous investment the International Affairs Budget is for North Dakota, and we are honored they would stand with us in educating Americans about how critical these programs are not just to our economy, but also our security and values in the world,” said Richard Parker, Communications Director for USGLC.

USGLC is a broad-based organization formed by a coalition of 400 American businesses and non-government organizations, senior national security and foreign policy experts and a diverse range of community leaders from across the country who promote increased support for the United State’s diplomatic and development efforts amongst both politicians and the public.

In addition to the North Dakota Advisory Committee, the USGLC has a number of Leadership and Advisory Boards which consist of some of the nation’s most prominent corporate, non-profit, military and political leaders.  The organization prides itself on transcending partisanship and differences between corporate and non-profit members that don’t see eye-to-eye to unite behind calls for a stronger International Affairs Budget.

A large portion of North Dakota’s economic prosperity comes from international trade.  North Dakota exported over $3.3 billion in goods and services to foreign markets in 2011, an over 400 percent increase since 2000.  Subsequently, trade supported nearly 99,000 jobs in North Dakota in 2010, or 20 percent of total jobs.

North Dakota businesses are increasingly recognizing that, with over 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the U.S., it is vital to tap into international markets to sell the state’s high quality foods and commercial goods.  Members of the North Dakota Advisory Committee believe working with national organizations such as USGLC can help ensure the state’s voice is heard at the nation’s capital.

“The goal of developing international growth through diplomacy is the noblest of causes.   I feel developing reliable trading partners throughout the world is the best way to build our nation’s security and to grow our domestic agricultural and manufacturing base,” said Ron Martin, Vice President, International Logistics for Midwest Motor Express, Inc.  “Using diplomacy to develop international trade is the surest way to ensure international tranquility.   The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition strives to ensure that tranquility.”

The following are members of the North Dakota Advisory Committee:

Mark ArchibaldPresident, ARCHMEC Management Exporting & Consulting LLC
Dean L. Bresciani, Ph.DPresident, North Dakota State University
Tami Carmichael, Ph.DDirector, Humanities & Integrated Studies, University of North Dakota
Jon GodfreadVice President of Governmental Affairs, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce
Dean GorderExecutive Director, North Dakota Trade Office
Gene GriffinGlobal Innovative Solutions & Associates
Maj. Gen. Mike HaugenPresident, M.J. Haugen and Associates
Kristen HedgerPresident, Dakota Defense Alliance
Kelvin HulletPresident, Bismarck Chamber of Commerce
Joseph Jastrzembski, Ph.DMinot State University, International Visitors Program
Ron MartinVice President, International Logistics, Midwest Motor Express, Inc.
Andy PetersonPresident, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce
Vineet SaxenaExecutive Vice President, WCCO Belting, Inc.
Santosh K. Seelan, Ph.DDirector, ND-NASA ESSCor
Craig WhitneyPresident, Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce
Delore Zimmerman, Ph.DCEO, Praxis Strategy Group

“North Dakota is a perfect example of the economic benefits Americans receive at home from a small investment in U.S. development and diplomatic programs.  Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S. and nearly half of our exports go to the developing world,” said Parker.  “Our international affairs programs in those countries open the door for North Dakota businesses to export their products.  That creates more jobs and opportunity here at home.”

The USGLC Washington Conference, held July 17-18 in Washington, D.C., will provide a platform for state committees from across the nation to meet and discuss foreign policy initiatives and challenges.  Participants will have the opportunity to hear from members of Congress, leading Democratic and Republican pundits and former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

The full schedule of events can be viewed here.

For more information on USGLC, the North Dakota Advisory Committee or the USGLC Washington Conference visit