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Thank you_ Dean Bosworth_ for that generous introduction and thank


									Thank you, Dean Bosworth, for that generous introduction and
thank you, Fletcher, for this very special honor. I also want to
acknowledge and thank my friend and former CARE board
member Peter Ackerman, an illustrious Fletcher alum, who I know
had a hand in me being here today. And a special note of thanks
and appreciation for the family of Benjamin Sklaver.

To the graduates, their families, friends and the faculty, -- I am so
delighted to share this day. Fletcher is a special school. For nearly
80 years, it has been cultivating bright, talented and ambitious
minds -- and training future leaders in the art of international

And like the Fletcher graduates of the past, I know you will go on
to do great things in the future. This graduating class contains
diplomats, politicians, authors, deans, CEOs.

Many of you will serve in government, here in the U.S. and in
other countries. Some will contribute to the work of international
organizations, and nonprofits. Others will excel in corporations, on
Wall Street, in law, and the media.

I am sure you sit here today with the sense of excitement that
yours is a future with limitless possibilities. But as you know you
also face a future of great challenges. Some of those challenges
have no precedent in the past. They are more global, more
complex, and have greater long-term consequences.


Of course, like any period in time, when Fletcher was established,
in 1933, the world had its own set of opportunities and challenges.

In 1933, the U.S. was in the throes of the Great Depression, with
25 percent of Americans out of work.

Adolf Hitler had just become chancellor of Germany and opened
the first concentration camp.

In India, Gandhi conducted a hunger strike in protest of
mistreatment of the lower castes, and also that year was sentenced
to prison.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected and later passed the New Deal.

Back then, the cost of a new house in this country was $5700.
Rents averaged $18 a month. The first minimum wage in this
country was adopted as 38 cents an hour.

In a breakthrough for people everywhere, a woman named Ruth
Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie.

The movie King Kong premiered at Radio City Music Hall.

Here in the U.S., beer was legalized and prohibition was repealed.

And, I don’t know if this was related or not to the ending of
prohibition, but that was also the year of the first alleged sighting
of the Loch Ness monster.


Now, in some ways, those show how much the world has changed.
On the other hand they remind us that each generation -each
graduating class- faces its own set of challenges.

And in today’s interconnected world, where one has to adapt to
change so quickly, having a degree from Fletcher, a school that
emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach and focuses on continual
learning, is more valuable than ever. So parents, your money was
well spent!

Graduates, you represent 86 different countries. You are multi-
lingual. You have lived and worked around the world. Yes, and
danced around the world in that award video—Where the Hell is

You have studied negotiation and conflict resolution, security,
development economics, law, environmental policy, international
business, and political systems.

You are well-educated and well-prepared.

And Dean Sheehan told me something even more important. He
said: “You are motivated by a desire to do something to improve
the lives of people.”

Now that is a great starting point. In fact, in my mind, it is the
essential one.


I am sure that, sitting here today, you can’t exactly know how your
path is going to unfold. What your career will look like. How you
will navigate the myriad choices.

When I was sitting where you are many years ago, I never could
have imagined that I would someday be president of CARE.

The only thing I was certain of was that I, like you, wanted to
make a difference.

I grew up during a time of great social change. Civil rights, the
women’s movement, the anti-war movement, anti-colonial
movements in Africa and Asia.

I grew up wanting to be part of something bigger than myself.
But, back then it was easy to adopt the view that changing the
world was just about being against things. We liked to protest and
take to the streets.

Racism.     Sexism.   Apartheid. Nixon. Bras.       You name it, I
protested it.

It wasn’t until late in college that I began to see that social change
was better achieved by being for something, rather than being
against everything.


And the path I took was defined, at least in part, by a
commencement speech.


Now, just to let you and me off the hook, let me point out that it
wasn’t a speech given as a part of any of my graduations. I was in
medical school at that time, attending my brother’s commencement
and heard a speech by Dr. D.A. Henderson, one of the leaders of the
worldwide campaign to eradicate smallpox.

Using the tools of public health, he helped lead the effort that took
smallpox -- a disease that is estimated to have claimed over 500
million lives – and wiped it from the face of the earth. I was simply
awed by the enormity and the impact of the effort he described.

His speech was an “ah hah” moment, when my vague notions
came into sharper focus. Then and there, I realized that I could use
my training and my skills as a doctor to impact social broader


So, for nearly 30 years -- first at the Centers for Disease Control,
… and then at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation… and now at
CARE…I have been fortunate to have opportunities to use the
skills I have to band with others to make concrete contributions
toward social justice and equity.

Now, I am not so bold as to presume that any of you will have a
similar “eureka” moment as a result of my remarks today.
However, I do want to encourage you that, yes, you can use your
knowledge, your skills and your desire to make this world better.


So let me offer some thoughts to take with you on the journey.

This is a fascinating point in history to be working on international
affairs. You are graduating into an ever more complicated world
and a world of paradoxes.

There are more millionaires and billionaires than ever before, and
yet half the world’s people are struggling on less than $2 a day.

Here in the U.S., we grapple with obesity, while a billion people
around the world face chronic hunger – not knowing if they will
have enough to eat tomorrow.

Science and technology deliver extraordinary medical
achievements – yet hundreds of thousands of women die every
year due to basic complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

Indeed, the gap between the richest parts of our world and the
poorest is larger than it has ever been – and those at the bottom are
falling further and further behind.

And, whether or not we realize it, this issue affects us all. It takes a
toll on our economies, our environment, our peace and stability. It
takes a toll on our collective well-being and humanity.

Martin Luther King said it well decades ago: “We are caught in an
inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of
destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects another indirectly.”
Or as the English poet and clergyman John Donne wrote,
“Anyone’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in

So, no matter which path you are planning to pursue – whether in
the public, private or non-profit sector -- you will in some way be
affected by and involved in these issues.


And, if you’re wondering whether you can make a difference in a
world with so many seemingly intractable problems, let me assure
you: You have already provided part of the answer.

Choosing a career in international relations is an important
affirmation that we can solve these problems. You understand
how interconnected we are as a global community and the
imperative we have to solve complicate global problems.

As daunting as our world’s challenges are, they are not
insurmountable. They require just three things: the knowledge,
the will, and the work.

Let me say a little bit about all of these.

Knowledge. Afghanistan was the first country I traveled to when
I started my job at CARE. While there, I visited some of the
schools that we are helping to fund.

When the Taliban came to power, one of the first things they did
was prohibit the teaching of young girls. During that time, the
CARE-supported schools remained open as “sewing” schools – but
in fact, the teachers risked their lives and freedom to teach girls
literature, math, and science.

Some of you may remember the story in the news last year of two
sisters there – Atifa and Shamsia. They were walking to school
one morning when two men on a motorcycle pulled alongside
them. One of the men asked where the girls were going. Shamsia
told them she was going to school. The man pulled out a plastic
squirt gun, aimed it, and sprayed acid into their faces.

Atifa and Shamsia will be disfigured for life, and marked by the
trauma in many ways. However, when asked if she would stop
attending school, one of the girls told a reporter they could spray
her 100 more times and she would still go to school…she said “I
want other girls to have the chance for an education.”

Shamsia told a reporter “Why wouldn’t I want to come to school?
I want our country to persevere. I have to do something for my
country. I must go to school.”


Shamsia understands innately what you also know – knowledge is
one of the most important weapons in the battle against injustice,
inequity and inhumanity.

And so, just as you have gained knowledge here at Fletcher, I ask
you to spread the knowledge you have… and to seek the
knowledge we need. That’s what continual learning is all about.

However, knowledge alone doesn’t change or save lives… it
requires will. It requires motivating individuals, communities, and
societies to act.

You have already shown the will… by refusing to use your time
here sequestered in an ivory tower -- by traveling, by spending
time in other countries, in other communities.

By using your skills and joining with others to tackle real-world

Our collective task is to help others find the will, because with it
come the resources and the political and public support that can
turn the tide against injustice.

And, the good news is, it is already happening in so many ways.

Last week, CARE hosted our annual advocacy conference in
Washington, DC. More than 800 people – from all 50 states –
used their time and spent their money to travel to the capitol. They
met with elected officials and advocated for legislation to reduce
maternal mortality, end chronic hunger, and stop child marriages.
They made 545 Congressional visits to remind our elected officials
that everyday citizens of this nation believe that the lives of the
poorest people around the world do matter.

One of them was a 10-year-old girl from Maine named Maya. Last
fall, Maya, her sister and their friends joined their mothers for
meetings in Bangor with their Senators. Each girl had studied
about global poverty, including child marriage, and written letters
to her Senators. In the meetings, they read aloud stories about how
they would feel if they or their friends had to leave school and
marry older men because their families were too poor to care for

Maya paid her own way for the conference, raising money through
bake sales. She had enough money left over to make a $200
donation to CARE. Maya is just one example of the momentum we
are seeing. Of how individual action can bring about broader social

Our government and others have signed on to the Millennium
Development Goals, committing to reduce maternal mortality,
ensure education for all children, fight AIDS and malaria, and
reduce by half the people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

The White House and Congress are setting the stage for an
enhanced U.S. role in global development. They are seeking to
make foreign aid more relevant and more effective. And to employ
the smart power approach to assuring our national security by
embracing the balanced use of defense, diplomacy and

So, we have the knowledge. And, increasingly, we have the will.
But, of course, both are hollow promises without the work. And
that is where your impact will be greatest.

You – with all your skills and all your training - will be on the
front lines.

It is a time for courage and creativity. A time to apply what you
have learned.

Time to choose where you want to leave your mark.

Time to create a world better than the one you inherited, and leave
it to the next generation.

I encourage you to allow yourself to be open to new opportunities,
and new challenges. I never would have imagined when I was a
student pursuing a career in medicine and public health that I
would one day end up the head of an agency focused on fighting
global poverty.

And I hope you will remember what motivated you to earn this
degree, to pursue this path.

Remember what you cared about.

Hang on to that passion. Hold on to that conviction.


In closing, let me share a story about creating the world we want to
see. It’s a story about a father and his daughter.

Every night at bedtime, five year old Sarah and her father would
read a story. This particular night he decided they would read the
story of the Good Samaritan.

I am sure many of you know the gist of the story, but in short, a
man was going down the mountain road from Jerusalem to Jericho,
and he was attacked by a gang of robbers who stripped him of
everything, beat him up, and ran off, leaving him half-dead

By chance a priest was going down that road. But when he saw the
man, he went by on the other side.

A Levite or temple official came along. When he saw the man, he
also went by on the other side.

Then a foreigner from Samaria traveling along that road happened
upon the man, and when he saw him, he was filled with
compassion and went to help. He treated his wounds with olive oil
and wine and bandaged them. He put him on his own donkey and
took him to an inn, where he took care of him.

At the end of the story, Sarah's father asked her questions about the
story to see if she was paying attention.

Father said: Sarah, when the priest saw the man on the side of the
road, did he stop?

Sarah: yes.

Father: Did the Levite stop to help?

Sarah: yes

Father: Did the man from Samaria stop?

Sarah: yes

Hearing this, Sarah's father -- a little confused -- questioned her
several more times asking the same questions. "Did the Priest
Stop? Did the Levite stop? " and so on.

Each time Sarah answered yes.

Now -- a bit frustrated and also starting to get concerned about his
daughter’s intellectual development, whether she would get into a
good college, go to Fletcher and make something of herself -- the
father asked his daughter why she continued to answer the
questions wrong. He explained that only the man from Samaria
stopped to help the poor injured man -- the others did not.

Sarah, without hesitation, answered: " I know that Daddy! But I
wanted the priest to stop. I wanted the Levite to stop. I wanted the
story to be different I wanted the story to be different."


So, graduates, here’s our story.

Great challenges are ahead of you and all of us in the world today,
but you are better prepared to meet our challenges than any
generation before. You have the knowledge, you have the will, you
will do the work.

With that, each of you in your own way will be part of making the
story different.

Thank you. Good luck. And, congratulations, Fletcher School of
Law and Diplomacy class of 2010!


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