U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, February 20, 2013. Department of State
Secretary of State John Kerry made his first major public address regarding U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy on February 20, 2013 in Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia - founded by Thomas Jefferson, America's first Secretary of State.
Ahead of his first overseas trip, Secretary Kerry spoke directly to the American people about the value of its investments in a strong foreign policy. The Secretary discussed how a relatively small Federal Government investment in America's foreign policy and diplomatic efforts - just over one percent of the national budget - results in a large return for America's economy and security. Secretary Kerry remarked: "Foreign assistance is not a giveaway. It's not charity. It is an investment in a strong America and in a free world."
The Secretary further asserted the urgent need for a strong foreign policy to protect American interests in the world: "A wise investment in foreign policy can yield for a nation the same return that education does for a student. And no investment that we make that is as small as this investment puts forward such a sizeable benefit for ourselves and for our fellow citizens of the world."
Secretary Kerry's remarks in Charlottesville, Virginia, were the first in a series of domestic addresses he has delivered as Secretary to report to the American people about foreign policy and its impact back home.