State of Global Partnerships Report 2016

Office of Global Partnerships
March 8, 2016


Table of Contents


Secretary John Kerry
Special Representative Drew O’Brien

The Importance of Partnerships

The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships


Partnerships Focused on Strategic Priorities

Global Partnerships 2015 Year in Review

Featured Partnerships

Global Community and Resilience Fund (GCERF)
International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA)
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR)
Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women
Women in Science (WiSCi) Girls STEAM Camp
Chocolate Tumaco
U.S. – ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
IN3: Innovators, Investors, and Institutions
Thai – U.S. Creative Partnership
Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)


Secretary Kerry


I am delighted to present the third annual State of Global Partnerships report in conjunction with Global Partnerships Week celebration, and offer my congratulations to the Office of Global Partnerships for their ongoing efforts in championing the work of public-private partnerships throughout the Department.
Partnerships play a critical role in meeting global challenges, from building peace to mitigating climate change. No single government, no matter how powerful, can find definitive solutions on its own. Harnessing the wealth of capabilities offered by civil society and the private sector has become an opportunity, and a necessity, to succeed in the full range of activities conducted by the Department and USAID.
Under President Obama’s Administration, public-private partnerships have become a priority across the federal agencies.  They are no longer isolated endeavors but rather, critical mechanisms for strengthening our diplomatic connections and enhancing our development work. This fact is reflected in the recent global adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which sets a roadmap for our shared future for the next 15 years.  The efforts of civil society, business, academia and others will be crucial if we are to achieve success in this agenda.

The Quadrennial Defense and Development Review recognized that America’s contributions and influence are not limited to formal cooperation with governments and international and regional organizations. In an era of diffuse and networked power, and with federal funding constrained, our diplomats and development professionals must focus on strengthening partnerships with civil society, citizen organizers, faith leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and others who share our interests and values.
I have seen firsthand how our public-private partnerships are driving change and creating real value and opportunities. Together we’re fostering entrepreneurship and technological innovation in Southeast Asia through our TIGERS@Mekong partnerships. We are empowering young women in Africa and the United States with science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics knowledge and skillsets through our Women in Science camp as part of the Let Girls Learn initiative. We are promoting research and innovation in foreign policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and academics across American colleges and universities through Diplomacy Lab.  And we are combating and adapting to climate change by integrating marine ecosystem and ocean acidification research through our ApHRICA partnership that is part of our Leveraging, Engaging, and Accelerating through Partnerships grants program. We have tapped into the data revolution through our commitments and collaboration with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Data in efforts to increase the availability and application of public data that span many parts of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda.
Through celebrations like Global Partnerships Week and this annual report, we are able to bring together partnership practitioners and leaders across many disciplines to engage in discussion on the ideas and issues that shape our lives and challenge our times, identify partnership opportunities that address global challenges, and coordinate on collaborative solutions. This report highlights just some of a myriad of projects accomplishing good through partnerships; I hope you enjoy reading about them, share them with your colleagues, and spread the word about the power of partnerships.


John F. Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State


Special Representative O’Brien


Today the Department’s global tasks have grown in both number and complexity, as we grapple with issues ranging from cross-border terrorism, fragile states, conflict refugees, multi-regional trade agreements, and climate change.

In the Office of Global Partnerships we believe strongly in government, but in the modern, complex world, government alone cannot be successful in overcoming today’s global challenges. We must be creative and constructive in how we solve problems.

Public-private partnerships allow the U.S. government to launch new mechanisms for problem-solving and promote high-impact, cross-sectoral collaboration to create sustainable solutions to the challenges that impact business, government, and society.

These partnerships are something that we as a Department should be thinking about every day. Bringing people and organizations together to share resources, expertise and experience provides us the opportunity to exponentially increase our ability to affect positive change in the face of complex problems.
This third annual Global Partnerships Report enumerates some of the ways that our office can assist in collaboration. Most importantly, this report features ten public-private partnerships from around the Department that show how partnerships can help us meet our strategic priorities as outlined in the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

My hope is that you will be inspired and encouraged at what can be accomplished through public-private partnerships. As always, we look forward to engaging with you on Facebook, Twitter @GPatState or


Andrew O’Brien
Special Representative for Global Partnerships
The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships


The Importance of Partnerships

In today’s interconnected world, the U.S. government cannot operate alone and must engage the private sector, civil society, and individuals to address large scale and complex challenges—from reducing poverty and improving education to disaster response and addressing climate change to countering violent extremism. These challenges require cross-sector solutions and collaboration that leverages the full range of talent, ingenuity, resources and commitment to action through innovative partnerships.

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development apply a common definition for public-private partnerships as directed by Congress:

A Public-Private Partnership (PPP or P3) is a collaborative working relationship with external, non-USG partners (such as businesses, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, investors, non-profits, universities, philanthropists, and foundations) in which the goals, structure, and governance, as well as roles and responsibilities, are mutually determined and decision-making is shared. PPPs are distinct from traditional contractual arrangements – such as grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts1  – in that they are rooted in co-creation, co-design, and co-resource mobilization towards a shared and mutually beneficial objective. Further, PPPs are characterized by jointly defined objectives, and collaborative program design and implementation. Successful partnerships entail: complementary equities; transparency; mutual benefit; shared risks and rewards; and accountability.2

Partnerships have proliferated across the federal government in recent years, with 23 federal agencies active in building partnerships, many with designated partnership offices. At the U.S. Department of State, there are three offices that are full-fledged partnership offices supporting partnerships development: the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP), the Secretary’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC), and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Many bureaus have also created Director-level partnership positions to support their internal efforts to leverage external engagements and innovation, and even more fulfill their mandate through the use of partnerships with other sectors.

The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships

The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, known as S/GP, serves as the entry point for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State and the private sector, promoting the use of public-private partnerships (PPP) to address global challenges and strengthen diplomacy and development outcomes. Non-traditional partners, including businesses, philanthropy, and community organizations, have become a core feature of 21st century statecraft. S/GP is working with partners across sectors, industries, and borders to promote economic growth and opportunity; to invest in the well-being of people from all walks of life; and to make democracy serve every citizen more effectively and justly.

S/GP has worked with thousands of organizations and has leveraged more than $1.5 billion in public and private sector commitments since 2009.


S/GP serves multiple roles in facilitating public-private partnerships:

Convener: Bringing people together from across regions and sectors to work together on issues of common interest.

Catalyzer: Launching new projects, actively seeking innovative solutions, and providing vital training and technical assistance to facilitate additional projects.

Collaborator: Working closely with our partners to plan and implement projects while avoiding duplication, learning from each other, and maximizing impact by promoting best practices.

Cultivator: Nurturing innovative new partnerships by providing the space, access to networks and capital, and mentoring assistance to turn a good idea into reality.

Additionally, S/GP coordinates the interagency partnership working group to ensure that agencies are sharing their best practices and learning from one another. The working group facilitates better coordination among agencies by keeping each other informed on development of partnership policy, cross-agency and cross-sector partnership priorities, and experiences working with mutual partners.


Global Partnerships Week
Convener: Bringing People Together

Each March, the annual Global Partnerships Week (GPW) inspires public and private organizations everywhere through self-organized local, national, and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as shared value collaborators. S/GP, along with 2016 partners Concordia, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the PeaceTech Lab at the U.S. Institute of Peace, brings together partnership practitioners and leaders to engage in discussion on common challenges and best practices, identify new partnership opportunities, and coordinate on collaborative solutions in a conference themed “Leveraging Innovation in Partnerships.” Other self-organized events around the world range from large-scale conferences and panels to intimate network gatherings or webinars, serving to illuminate existing collaborations as well as potential partnership opportunities.

Public-Private Partnership Training
Catalyzer: Providing Vital Training and Technical Assistance

S/GP maintains both on-line and in-person PPP training courses through the Foreign Service Institute. The purpose of these courses is to help U.S. Department of State and other U.S. government officials develop the knowledge and skills needed to develop strong partner relationships, manage partnerships, and to successfully navigate the PPP cycle from inception to implementation to evaluation. Through the courses, participants find that they will better understand the fundamentals of partnership development, become familiar with established models and best practices, and develop their own partnerships for potential implementation.4

P3 Impact Award

Collaborator: Promoting Best Practices

S/GP, Concordia, and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society created the P3 Impact Award in 2014 to recognize and honor best practices of public-private partnerships that are improving communities and the world in the most impactful ways. The annual award seeks to highlight leading practices and actionable insights in the P3 arena and encourage the creation and scaling of the P3 model worldwide.

An independent panel of judges reviews applications based on the PPP’s measurable impacts, economic and social benefits, innovation, financial effectiveness, and scalability. Award finalists are recognized and the winner is presented at the Concordia Summit in New York City each fall.5

Partner Vetting
Collaborator: Working Closely with Partners

Due diligence is required for partnership partners, in-kind gift donors (support, services, goods), and cash donors in solicitation. The S/GP vetting unit prepares deliberative and informative reports on potential partners and donors for over 2,000 offices throughout the U.S. Department of State, both domestic and overseas, and has access to U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Commerce databases, legal records, and more. These reports assist the requesting bureau or office in determining whether there are any conflicts of interest, the appearances of conflicts, or information that could harm the reputation of the Department.

The S/GP Vetting Unit responded to 730 vetting requests in 2015, a rate of almost 14 per week.

Leveraging, Engaging, and Accelerating through Partnerships (LEAP) Fund
Cultivator: Providing Access to Networks and Capital

To further catalyze a culture shift within the U.S. Department of State to engage the private sector through partnerships, S/GP created a funding opportunity called the Leveraging, Engaging, and Accelerating through Partnerships (LEAP) Fund.  The goal of this initiative is to incentivize bureaus, offices, and missions to scale the scope and impacts of both new and existing initiatives by way of partnering with the private sector.

In 2015, twenty-five domestic and offices and overseas posts vied for funding, of which seven proposals were selected.

The 2015 LEAP funded partnerships will leverage more than $3.5 million in private sector contributions.

This represents six times the committed U.S. government funds, demonstrating an exponential return on investment as well as promising a far greater impact of these initiatives than could have been realized without private sector involvement.7  

Partnerships Focused on Strategic Priorities

The 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) placed focus squarely on building strategic public-private partnerships to draw on the ingenuity and resources of the private sector, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations to promote innovation and technological change.

The 2015 QDDRrecognizes that while our global alliances and partnerships have never been stronger, in this era of diffuse and networked power - and with federal funding constrained - diplomats and development professionals must remain focused on strengthening partnerships with civil society, citizen movements, faith leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and others who share our interests and values in order to meet the global challenges of today.

The 2015 QDDR also recognizes the importance of continuing the modernization of development policies and practices initiated by the 2010 QDDR, including a new model of development that weaves together local ownership, private investment, innovation, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and high expectations for mutual accountability.

2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Strategic Priorities

  • Preventing and Mitigating Conflict and Violent Extremism
  • Promoting Resilient, Open, Democratic Societies
  • Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth
  • Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change

“We’re determined to deepen our partnerships to deliver on remarkable opportunities for peace, for security, for economic growth, and for the empowerment of people through their civil society.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Civil Society Forum Global Town Hall

Global Partnerships 2015 Year in Review

S/GP’s 2015 Year in Review demonstrates our commitment to the QDDR strategic priorities.


North American Ministerial
IdEA - Diaspora e-Mentoring Webinars
Fish 2.0 Embassy Briefings


White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism
Veterans Innovation Partnership Fellows Welcome Ceremony
Global Innovation Summit
Climate Leadership Conference
Latin America Impact Investment Forum; Mexico
TIGERS@Mekong Mentor Training; Cambodia
Fish 2.0 Workshop; Micronesia


Global Partnerships Week
Partnership Opportunity Delegation; Colombia
Global Entrepreneurship Conference; Italy
Chiefs of Mission Conference
TIGERS@Mekong Pitch Event; Vietnam
Fish 2.0 Workshop; Fiji


Summit of the Americas, Panama
Council on Foundations Annual Meeting
Global Philanthropy Forum
Fish 2.0 Workshop Webinars
Gardeners of Eden Film Screening


Business Climate Solutions Conference; France
Partnership Opportunity Delegation; Burma
Universal Exposition 2015; Italy
IdEA Diaspora Leadership Training


TIGERS@Mekong Ecosystem Summit; Vietnam
Fishackathon; 12 cities
IdEA Diaspora Leadership Training


Global Entrepreneurship Summit; Kenya
LIONS@FRICA ABAN Angel Investor Boot Camp; Nigeria
WPI Frontiers Summer STEM Program; Northern Ireland
Financing for Development Conference; Ethiopia
IdEA - Diaspora Leadership Training
PPP Training Class


WiSci Girls STEAM Camp; Rwanda
LIONS@FRICA ABAN Angel Investor Boot Camp; Kenya and South Africa
Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Forum, Gabon
Salam Neighbor Documentary World Premiere and Discussion Panel


UN General Assembly
LIONS@FRICA DEMO Africa; Nigeria
PPP Training Class


P3 Impact Award at Concordia Summit
Secretary’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum
Our Ocean Conference; Chile
Global Diaspora Week
Partnership Opportunity Delegation; Armenia
mWhat Pitch Competition


Fish 2.0 Competition Finals and Pitching
“The Innovative Role of Public-Private Partnerships” Roundtable


TIGERS@Mekong “Boom Camp” Graduations; Burma, Laos, Cambodia
PPP Training Class
A Christmas Star Film Screening

The featured projects that follow our year in review represent just a few of the many diplomacy and development partnerships around the Department and the world that showcase how public-private partnerships can assist in achieving the goals set out through our strategic priorities.


Global Community and Resilience Fund (GCERF)

Strategic Priority: Preventing and Mitigating Conflict and Violent Extremism

Announced at the fourth Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial in New York by Secretary Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) is the first global effort to support local, community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremism. The fund supports the development and implementation of inclusive, national strategies and programs to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE) and its work has been reinforced by the United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, which prioritizes prevention and working with local communities.  

GCERF is a not-for-profit foundation with a secretariat headquartered in Geneva; it is governed by a multi-stakeholder Governing Board whose constituents include representatives of governments, civil society, foundations, and research institutions, and the private sector, including:

Governments: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, Nigeria, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

Civil Society, Think Tanks and Foundations: Human Security Collective, Institute for Global Engagement, Women Without Borders / Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), Hedayah, Institute for Economics and Peace, Institute for Security Studies, International Centre for Counter Terrorism, Global Center on Cooperative Security, Royal United Services Institute, and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Private Sector: Fifth Tribe, Goldman Sachs International, International Business Machine (IBM)
In addition to in-kind support, contributions to GCERF include more than $25 million from 12 countries and the European Union. GCERF’s apolitical, independent, and neutral funding enables access to communities previously inaccessible to national or bilateral funding, and helps ensure operational security to grantees who may be conducting sensitive work in highly politicized environments.

Occupying a unique niche in the nascent P/CVE field, GCERF recognizes the critical role of local communities as part of a comprehensive, holistic whole-of-society approach to P/CVE. The fund’s primary objective is to provide small grants to community-level, grassroots initiatives to address local drivers of violent extremism and strengthen resilience against violent extremist agendas. Key outcomes include:

  • Providing direct financial support to innovative community-led initiatives and approaches;
  • Strengthening coordination and collaboration with relevant stakeholders;
  • Facilitating sustainable corporate engagement in vulnerable and affected areas;
  • Bolstering small and midsize enterprises as engines for economic growth;
  • Enhancing partnerships that reinforce community stability and build trust.

Local communities in Bangladesh, Mali, and Nigeria are the first recipients of GCERF funds. Kenya, Kosovo, and Myanmar represent the next wave of countries that will receive assistance as part of the on-going campaign to effectively prevent and counter violent extremism. 9 


“GCERF is a critical partner in this [P/CVE] work given its focus on supporting community-driven initiatives to address those dynamics and build more inclusive and resilient communities.” – U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Sarah Sewall, Roundtable on the Role of the Private Sector in CVE, Sep 2015

“The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund public-private partnership provides a great opportunity to channel our prevention efforts.” – Swiss Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, UN General Assembly Leaders Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, Sep 2015  

International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA)

Strategic Priority: Promoting Resilient, Open, Democratic Societies

Diaspora is a term used to describe a community of people who live outside their shared country of origin or ancestry or personal affinity but maintain active connections with it. Over the last 45 years, the number of people living outside their country of origin has almost tripled and the United States has the largest number of global diaspora members of any country in the world – more than 62 million people are first or second generation immigrants.  The Economist has noted that with diaspora communities so dynamically and intimately connected to their countries of origin “no other social network offers the same global reach.”

Launched by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development with managing partner Calvert Foundation, IdEA engages diaspora communities, civil society and the private sector - over 5,500 individuals, groups, and those working with diaspora communities - in collaborative efforts to support economic and social development. IdEA initiatives leverage the passion, talents, and resources of diaspora members through activities organized around four principal pillars:

  • Investment and Entrepreneurship
  • Philanthropy
  • Volunteerism
  • Innovation 

IdEA has several ongoing initiatives to connect and engage diaspora communities, including:

  • Micro-mentorships that pair business experts with budding entrepreneurs;
  • Business competitions such as Fish 2.0, African Diaspora Marketplace and the Caribbean Idea Marketplace to enhance access to new resources;
  • Capacity building and development training webinars;
  • An annual Global Diaspora Week creating awareness, enabling collaboration, and enhancing learning among those who work with diaspora communities around the world.

Some of the successes of IdEA in 2015 include:10

  • Convening Global Diaspora Week 2015 – the largest worldwide celebration of diaspora communities and their contributions to global development. Thousands of participants engaged in more than 160 events in 22 countries.
  • Bolstering the ability of over 1,200 leaders through 22 in-person and on-line capacity building trainings that contribute to sustainable development in their countries of heritage or affinity. Trainings range from the four-part Diaspora Leadership Training Series to online webinars that cover writing successful grant applications, conducting strategic planning, engaging millennials and using crowdfunding platforms effectively.
  • Connecting diaspora mentors with people in their countries of heritage or affinity through partner MicroMentor, which creates easy access to a multi-thousand member community of experts and entrepreneurs that speak English, French and Spanish.
  • Assisting Pacific Islanders and diaspora in the Fish 2.0 sustainable seafood business competition through capacity building workshops. A Vanuatu-based community fishing business, Alfa Fishing, took top prize for impact out of 170 applicants.
  • Supporting the launch of two diaspora investment initiatives – Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative and La Raices in Latin America.
  • Convening more than 500 diaspora members and actors from across sectors to create opportunities for diaspora communities to invest in their countries of origin or affinity, including the African Diaspora Investment Symposium and a diaspora mentoring workshop at the Latin American Impact Investment Forum.  


“Quite simply, in today’s world, partnerships matter. No country – not even the United States – can go it alone. So we depend on our international allies and our partners for a lot, and our diaspora communities can help make those partnerships work. The big reason for that is the leaders of these communities are some of the best cultural ambassadors that we could ask for.” – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Global Diaspora Week Launch 2015

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR)

Strategic Priority: Promoting Resilient, Open, Democratic Societies

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) leads coordinated action to save women and girls’ lives from cancer in countries where the need is greatest.  By working with public and private sector organizations, PRRR builds on the success and lessons learned from the significant scale-up of HIV services by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in recent years.  With the ongoing commitment of all partners, PRRR provides services for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer and early detection and treatment of breast cancer. 11 

Launched in September 2011 by PEPFAR, the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), PRRR is comprised of over 20 corporate and foundation  partners.  The partnership engages closely with national governments, non-governmental organizations, and key local leadership, resulting in country-owned, sustainable programs and helps build on the infrastructure established by PEPFAR to increase the access of women and girls to life-preserving health interventions.

PRRR currently supports efforts to combat cervical and/or breast cancer in Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia with plans to expand to Latin America in 2016. To date, the partnership has assisted implementers in Botswana, Tanzania, and Zambia to screen over 200,000 women for cervical pre-cancerous lesions, vaccinate over 42,000 girls with the human papillomavirus vaccine and conduct over 6,000 clinical breast examinations.

PRRR mobilizes resources from governments, multilateral organizations, foundations and corporations, and works with local, community-based implementers on a full continuum of interventions from prevention to palliative care by doing the following:

  • Educating communities about breast and cervical cancer, and enabling women to access prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support;
  • Vaccinating girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV);
  • Screening women for breast and cervical cancer;
  • Treating women for cervical pre-cancer with simple, low-cost methods such as visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), cryotherapy, and the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP);
  • Increasing access to life-saving diagnostics, products and treatment, and providing care and support;
  • Training and equipping public and private providers to screen for and treat cervical and breast cancer;
  • Developing global standards, tools and guidance for monitoring and evaluation.


“PEPFAR is committed to helping address the alarming intersection of HIV and cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is 4-5 times more common among HIV-positive women than those who are HIV-negative, and we all have a responsibility to act.  PEPFAR has contributed a total of $10 million to the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon across Botswana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia.” – Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women

Strategic Priority: Promoting Resilient, Open, Democratic Societies

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is advancing its mission12 with many public-private partnerships, including promoting the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign in partnership with the World Boxing Council (WBC) and Liga Bancomer MX, Mexico’s top professional soccer league. The Embassy’s support of this campaign advocates the empowerment of the at-risk population of women and girls by engaging male populations.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City paired its staff time with WBC and Liga Bancomer MX’s vast network of media partners, social networks and fan bases to bring the campaign’s message to millions of people. Other partners included Promociones del Pueblo (boxing events’ organizers), Cleto Reyes (boxing equipment manufacturers), the Mexican Soccer Federation and twelve soccer teams: America, Pumas UNAM, Leon, Toluca, Tigres UANL, Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Lobos BUAP, Atlante, FC Jaurez, and Zacatecas.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman and the Embassy’s Information Officer Mark Johnson participated in a press conference to kick off the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign. The WBC commissioned eighteen short videos of current male and female boxers and boxing personalities, including boxing legends Evander Holyfield and Julio Cesar Chavez, as well as the U.S.-based pop band Los 5, all with messages that spoke against gender-based violence. Holyfield and Chavez, along with the boxers that competed in bouts during the campaign, wore orange boxing gloves - the campaign’s color - to signify their support.

Liga Bancomer MX actively promoted the campaign through its social media platforms and during playoff games played during the campaign. The captains of twelve soccer teams made statements against gender-based violence at the beginning of each game, and girls participated in pre-game ceremonies traditionally performed by boys, such as walking with the teams, carrying the league’s flag, presenting the game ball to the referee and reading the opening statements.

National and regional news outlets reported on WBC participation in the campaign, which reached over 1.2 million households, as well as a WBC social media audience numbering more than 900,000 followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. An average of 1.2 million households also watch Liga Bancomer MX soccer matches; even more tune in during playoff games. The captain’s statements and game commentator mentions of the campaign were all echoed through a social media audience that included 5.5 million “likes” on Facebook and 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

Based on television ratings of the boxing matches and soccer games, The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City created almost $100,000 in earned media, coupled with contributions and in-kind donations totaling more than $74,000. The greatest value of this partnership was the Embassy’s ability to draw on sports figure role models and the vast fan bases of Mexico’s most popular sports to reach an audience that far exceeded normal Embassy outreach.


“Violence against women is a cowardly and reprehensible act, and female and male champions are joining the campaign to fight it.” – Mauricio Sulaiman, President, World Boxing Council

“We in the soccer family know that violence against women is a serious problem in our country, and that it is only through respect and education that we will prevent it from surfacing. That is why we appeal to all Mexicans to reject violence in all its forms, for our mothers, sisters and daughters, so they can flourish to their fullest. Let’s say no to gender-based violence!” – Liga Bancomer MX soccer team captains’ pre-game statement

Women in Science (WiSCi) Girls STEAM Camp

Strategic Priority: Promoting Resilient, Open, Democratic Societies
Strategic Priority: Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth

The Women in Science (WiSci) Girls STEAM camp, held at the Gashora Girls Academy in Rwanda, brought nearly 120 secondary and high school female students from eight African countries and the United States together for three weeks of cultural experience and hands-on learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art & design, and mathematics (STEAM). The idea for the camp originated in side meetings at the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and is part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, to empower girls to overcome gender biases and gaps in educational achievement.

WiSci partners included the AOL Charitable Foundation, Intel Foundation, Microsoft, the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, Rwanda Girls Initiative, Rwandan Ministry of Education, African Leadership Academy, and the Meridian International Center, with additional programmatic support contributed by UNESCO. Each partner brought their specific expertise to bear in supporting the camp; from Girl Up’s experience in girls’ empowerment and youth engagement to Meridian’s ability to run cultural exchanges to AOL’s shared communications and marketing resources and UNESCO’s training in socially-oriented mobile applications design through its YouthMobile program, all paired with foreign assistance and the global reach of the U.S. Department of State. In-kind and financial contributions from all partners brought nearly $1.4 million in value to the girls’ camp.  

Organizing partners crafted a curriculum that combined exercises in coding and robotics, mentoring sessions, project-based learning, and team exercises. Participants honed their leadership skills, shared their cultures, and discussed actions to address issues they were passionate about.

Not only did the camp expose participants to different cultures, with 90% of campers reporting a greater appreciation for other cultures and traditions at camp’s end, but it also increased campers’ knowledge and confidence in measureable ways. 86% of campers reported a good or excellent understanding of basic computer programming at camp’s end compared to 16.5% before, and over 87% reported they now had an excellent understanding of how STEAM can be incorporated into professional careers, up from 39% before the camp.  

Campers left empowered with resources to share their experience  with their communities, and the WiSci camp has inspired the participants to bring STEAM and Girl Up clubs to their home schools, continue working on group projects, and serve as mentors for younger girls in their communities. The WiSci camp looks to have transformational impact on participants new and old in the years to come.

“Before this camp I didn’t have a female mentor in STEAM, but through this camp I’ve met a lot of people who are females in the STEAM field and they are inspiring.” – A WiSci camper from South Africa

“One amazing thing that I came out [of camp] with is now believing that I have the potential to be a leader. I’d never thought of myself like that.” – A WiSci camper from Rwanda

“The WiSci partnership opened up a new opportunity for true global collaboration between governments, nonprofits, public and private industry to transform STEM strategy into action and empower girls to see themselves as creators of technology and world changers.” – Gabriela A. Gonzalez, leader of Intel’s Global K12 STEM engagement strategy

“WiSci was a truly collaborative effort where tech partners, Girl Up and the State Department came together to provide girls the skills and resources needed to fully realize their potential through STEAM and bring their experience back to their communities.” – Rachel Wisthuff, Girl Up

 Chocolate Tumaco

Strategic Priority: Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth
Strategic Priority: Preventing and Mitigating Conflict and Violent Extremism

Chocolate Tumaco is a community-owned cacao marketing cooperative devised through a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development and Casa Luker, a Colombian multi-national business founded in 1906 that produces high quality chocolate and other cacao-derived products. 13 

The Tumaco region, in the far southwestern area of Colombia, has become a center for illegal coca production (used in the manufacture of cocaine) and consistently has some of the highest rates of violent crime in the country. Adding value to chocolate production -- a legal crop alternative to coca -- promotes economic development in the area which can reduce the instances of violent crime.

Casa Luker is a family-owned, privately-held enterprise employing over 1,000 Colombians in 15 locations throughout the country, including four production facilities and a cacao research center as well as production facilities in Panama and several overseas offices. Casa Luker purchases approximately 38% of Colombia's yearly cacao production.

Chocolate Tumaco leverages funding provided by USAID with warehousing, equipment, and information systems provided by Casa Luker in order to function as a formal cooperative. The cooperative buys directly from smallholder farmers, raising and stabilizing cacao prices for farmers across the region. Casa Luker, as a principal buyer of Tumaco cacao, provides reliable demand as well as business loans in the form of "anticipated purchases" to assist the cooperative in buying the cacao beans from local producers.

Working directly with 3,200 small producers, the cooperative helps farmers market their cacao, secure higher prices, benefit from government subsidies and access on-farm technical assistance to improve their productivity and the quality of their cacao. After just under two years in operation, Chocolate Tumaco sells at least 70% of its supply to Casa Luker equating to over $4 million in sales, and successfully reduces intermediary market costs ensuring a lucrative outlet for cacao with more wealth remaining with small farmers.


“The business is part of the social fabric of this area. People were afraid of the guerillas and the violence. Now they are united around cacao and around this business.” – David Huertas, USAID/Colombia

“USAID provides the technical assistance that keeps farmers on track so they manage the advance funds [from Casa Luker] properly. The relationship with USAID reduced the risk for Casa Luker.” – David Huertas, USAID/Colombia

U.S. – ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Strategic Priority: Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth

The U.S. - ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Alliance14 for Competitive Small and Medium-sized Enterprises aims to assist small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to boost their regional and global competitiveness. SMEs account for 50-85% of employment in ASEAN countries, making them an essential component of ASEAN’s regional integration. The Business Alliance goals include:

  • Bolster the ASEAN Economic Community ASEAN by supporting SMEs to share best business practices and standards in key growth industries;
  • Support high-performance SMEs to become regional business leaders and world-class suppliers in regional and global value chains.

The Business Alliance combines the expertise and resources of the U.S. Agency for International Development and major corporations through the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), including Baker & McKenzie, Cisco, Citibank, eBay Inc. (including PayPal), FedEx, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, MasterCard, Microsoft, Motorola, Qualcomm, Procter & Gamble, Seagate, UPS, and Visa. This initiative gives ASEAN SME access to corporate expertise, allows the USABC partners to forge new business relationships, and enhances the U.S. government's economic partnership with ASEAN countries.

Leveraging the world-class expertise of USABC corporate members, over 4,000 SMEs have been trained in focus areas such as marketing and business management, finance, legal, logistics, and information technology. The Business Alliance also developed an online training tool – the ASEAN Online SME Academy – that hosts a series of training materials for SME development provided by Fortune 500 companies, regional firms and international organizations.


“The success of the ASEAN Economic Community depends to a large extent on the success of ASEAN SMEs. By investing in their growth we can help to unlock their potential to transform the economy and create jobs, drive innovation, and compete across the region and globally.” – Carolyn Brehm, Vice President of Global Government Relations, Procter & Gamble

“From the first Business Alliance workshop in Vietnam in April 2014 to subsequent ones in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Myanmar, we have repeatedly seen the value that U.S. private sector, in partnership with the U.S. Government and ASEAN, can create for SMEs in the region.” – Sam Kim, Vice President and General Manager, ASEAN and Asia Development Markets, Procter & Gamble, Singapore  

IN3: Innovators, Investors, and Institutions

Strategic Priority: Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth

Innovators, Investors and Institutions - IN3 (pronounced In-Cubed) - is a conference series that brings together the three essential components of the innovation ecosystem – Innovators, Investors, and Institutions – to promote entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth and job creation and to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the United States and Spain. The U.S. Embassy in Madrid partners with the Chamberi Valley Association, a group of Spanish tech entrepreneurs with companies valued at €1 million in revenue or capital investment, and Google for Entrepreneurs to support scalable Spanish tech companies seeking to expand their businesses internationally. IN3 has three primary goals:

  • Encourage increased trade and investment and strengthen business connections between the U.S. and Spain;
  • Support the internationalization of U.S. and Spanish tech companies as a means of expanding economic development and job creation;
  • Promote a culture of entrepreneurship among Spanish youth, business community and government leaders.

The first IN3 conference in 2015 was the inaugural event of Google’s Campus Madrid, a co-working and innovation space for budding entrepreneurs.  Over 120 top-tier entrepreneurs and investors gathered at the event, kicked off by King Felipe VI of Spain and including remarks from political leaders such as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy, and Tourism Juan Manuel Soria and business leaders including Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, PayPal cofounder and Founder’s Fund partner Ken Howery and FON Founder Martin Varsavky.  Event sponsors and in-kind partners included Blackstone Charitable Foundation, J. Walter Thompson, Coca-Cola, Banco Santander, BBVA, Capital Group, and Communica+A.  

Panel discussions, keynote speeches, design thinking sessions, and targeted networking events forged new relationships and highlighted business opportunities for attendees as well as created space to openly discuss regulatory and policy challenges Spanish entrepreneurs face. The event energized the Spanish public on the topic of entrepreneurship, reaching 53 million people through traditional and social media, and participants reported new investments, new partnerships, and business restructuring in line with the expert advice presented at the conference.

Micro IN3 events, including a Barcelona Edition during Global Entrepreneurship Week and networking events in New York, Silicon Valley and Miami, are maintaining the momentum of this partnership. IN3 is motivating new Spanish entrepreneurs and helping them scale their businesses to advance Spain’s economic recovery.15  


“President Obama has committed to promoting entrepreneurship through the creation of the U.S. Government’s Spark initiative16, which has set a goal of generating more than a billion dollars of new investment for emerging entrepreneurs worldwide by 2017, igniting a new era of global innovation. IN³ is part of that commitment.” – Ambassador James Costos, U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra

“The IN³ forum is truly an exciting meeting point for innovators, investors and institutions from both shores of the Atlantic. Its focus on entrepreneurship and technological progress reflects quite accurately some of the important values and interests that unite our societies.” – HM King Felipe VI of Spain

“IN³ is absolutely brilliant… It perfectly captures the essence what a complete ecosystem must have to incubate new businesses, new jobs and new economic growth: a three-legged stool, each leg holding up its weight.” – U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet

Thai – U.S. Creative Partnership

Strategic Priority: Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth
Strategic Priority: Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change

A product of the Thai-U.S. Strategic Dialogues, the joint Thai-U.S. Creative Partnership aims to establish an informal network for government, business, and universities to support and highlight bilateral cooperation, promote trade, and foster innovation and intellectual property development and protection. The initiative captures and promotes programs in the following areas:

  • Information Technology
  • Design and Art
  • Film and Animation
  • Clean Energy and Green Technology
  • Health
  • Food and Agro-technology
  • Entrepreneurship

 A public-private Joint Steering Committee directs this informal partnership, co-chaired by the Thai Director General of the Department of American and South Pacific Affairs and the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. Connecting eleven Thai ministry partners with eleven U.S. agencies and hundreds of private, academic, and non-governmental partners, the Creative Partnership has highlighted constructive engagements between the United States and Thailand across 225 activities, directly reaching 34,000 participants and positively affecting hundreds of thousands of Thai nationals.

The Creative Partnership17 has impacted key areas across sectors and disciplines.   In 2015, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden participated in partnership-branded programs encouraging STEM education.  A U.S. Embassy pavilion at the 2015 Thailand National Science Fair attracted over a million schoolchildren and other visitors. The U.S. Consul General in Chiang Mai participated in Creativity Connect, an international creativity forum. Other recent partnership-branded events have included a young animators contest sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and judged by an Animation Art Envoy in collaboration with Sripatum University, a partnership with Srinakharinwirot University to encourage social enterprises and socially responsible business practices, and a series of programs to promote entrepreneurship development.      

 The Creative Partnership  also presents Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards as part of the annual American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual CSR Awards Ceremony. Past winners include:

  • Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Thailand, one of the largest student software design competitions;
  • Dow Chemical’s sustainable industry program teaching small and medium-sized enterprises to adapt to environmentally friendly new business practices;
  • Chevron’s Enjoy Science Project, a public-private partnership to strengthen competitiveness and innovation by improving STEM and technical vocational education and training for workforce development.


“With the help of the U.S. Embassy under the Thai-U.S. Creative Partnership initiative, we were able to provide a first-ever platform through the Women-in-Business Series where Thai women entrepreneurs can share experiences, collaborate, and learn from each other in an open and safe environment. By celebrating successful women entrepreneurs from diverse fields and through our mentorship program, we have created new female role models and inspired up-and-coming women entrepreneurs in Thailand and the ASEAN region to dare to dream big and become leaders.” – Caterina Meloni, Founder, Connecting Founders

Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)

Strategic Priority: Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change

Through the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), the United States is working with partners in the region to advance the development and deployment of innovative initiatives to combat global climate change. ECPA is a flexible mechanism through which governments in the Western Hemisphere, on a voluntary basis, may lead multi-country or bilateral initiatives to promote clean energy, advance energy security, fight energy poverty, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a sustainable Americas.

Since its inception at the 2009 Summit of the Americas, ECPA partner countries have launched close to 40 different initiatives and projects throughout the region. The ECPA 2nd Ministerial was held in 2015 in Merida, Mexico prior to the Sixth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM6), with dialogues centering on the following Seven Pillars for a Sustainable Americas:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy
  • Cleaner and More Efficient Use of Fossil Fuels
  • Energy Infrastructure
  • Energy Poverty
  • Sustainable Forest and Land Use
  • Climate Change Adaptation

Under ECPA18 , participating governments and partners from the public and private sectors contribute resources to implement pillar initiatives. Private sector and civil society partners include Green Growth Knowledge Platform, Avina Americas, the University of Texas and the Inter-American Development Bank. Partners provide updates on their contributions to the ECPA Clearinghouse, a coordinating unit operated by the Organization of American States. The ECPA Clearinghouse assists in building favorable environments for the development of projects, ideas, and initiatives and facilitates partnerships and greater public understanding of the work underway across the Americas.

In 2015, energy ministers of partner countries expressed their intention to achieve a collective doubling of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, sustainable biomass and geothermal by 2030 through the ECPA Western Hemisphere Clean Energy Initiative. The trilateral North American Energy Ministers Working Group on Climate and Energy between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. was also launched to increase regional cooperation in areas such as: reliable, resilient and low-carbon electricity grids; modeling and deployment of clean energy technologies; energy efficiency for equipment, appliances, industries and buildings; carbon capture, use and storage; climate change adaptation and resilience; and emissions reduction from the oil and gas sector.


“The Ministerial provided a venue for USTDA to explore new opportunities for collaboration with respect to a variety of clean energy technologies and highlight the importance of utilizing early project planning tools such as feasibility studies, technical assistance and technology pilots in the development of such projects.” – U.S. Trade and Development Agency Regional Director Nathan Younge, chair of the ECPA 2nd Ministerial Meeting “Financing Energy Projects and Promoting Private Investment” roundtable

“ECPA and CEM6 were two vital opportunities for some of the world’s most important clean energy leaders to come together to co-operate on clean energy solutions ahead of climate negotiations in Paris this December. The outcome of these two meetings will play an important role in facilitating the world’s transition to a clean energy economy through regional and global co-operation.” – U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz



[1] PPP involves a closer collaborative bond than grants, contracts or procurement and rely on integrated working relationships. The total power of the PPP is greater than the sum of its parts.

[2] PPPs for the U.S. Department of State are governed by 2 FAM 970, which sets forth the process for vetting potential partners and obtaining authority to enter into a PPP.

[3]  For more information on this and past  Global Partnerships Week celebrations, please visit

[4] The course is available to U.S. Department of State personnel as PP440 found at the Foreign Service Institute website

[5] For more information and to apply for the P3 Impact Award please visit

[6] Vetting and public-private partnerships at the U.S. Department of State are governed by 2 FAM 960 and 2 FAM 970 respectively. For more information, please visit http://s.state.sbu/gpi/vetting/default.aspx

[7] S/GP will open the application process for new LEAP proposals in June 2016

[8] Read the 2015 QDDR at //

[9] For more on GCERF, please visit

[10]  For more on IdEA, visit

[11]  Find out more about PRRR by visiting

[12]  Learn more about U.S. Embassy Mexico at

13] To read more about this partnership, visit

[14] For more information on the USABC, please visit

[15] For more information on IN3, please visit

[16] For more on the Spark Initiative, please visit //

[17]  For more information on the Thai-U.S. Creative Partnership, please see

[18] To learn more about ECPA, please visit