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The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton

The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton

42nd President of the United States of America

William Jefferson Clinton was elected President of the United States in 1992, and again in 1996—the first Democratic president to be awarded a second term in six decades. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. President Clinton’s core values of building community, creating opportunity, and demanding responsibility resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs—more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest homeownership and college enrollment rates in history.

His accomplishments as president include increasing investment in education, providing tax relief for working families, helping millions of Americans move from welfare to work, expanding access to technology, encouraging investment in underserved communities, protecting the environment, countering the threat of terrorism and promoting peace and strengthening democracy around the world. President Clinton previously served as the Governor of Arkansas, chairman of the National Governors’ Association and Attorney General of Arkansas. As former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, he is one of the original architects and leading advocates of the Third Way movement.

President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation www.clintonfoundation.org to construct and endow the Clinton Presidential Center and to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. To advance this mission, the Foundation is focused on four critical areas: health security, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS; economic empowerment; leadership development and citizen service; and racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation. The Clinton Presidential Center, which is comprised of the Library, the archives, Foundation offices and the Clinton School of Public Service, opened in Little Rock, Arkansas on November 18, 2004. To date, more than 200,000 people from around the country and the world have visited the Center, which has also helped promote $1 billion of development in the community.

The Clinton Foundation works through partnerships with like-minded individuals, organizations, business and governments that share its mission. For example, President Clinton serves as Honorary Co-Chair of the Club of Madrid, an organization dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by drawing on the unique experiences and resources of former heads of state and government of democratic nations.

The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative aims to assist countries in implementing large-scale, integrated, care, treatment and prevention programs that will turn the tide on the epidemic. It partners with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia to develop operational business plans to scale-up care and treatment.

The Foundation works with individual governments and provides them with technical assistance, human and financial resources, and know-how from the sharing of the best practices across projects. The ultimate objective in each of these countries is to scale up public health systems to ensure broad access to high-quality care and treatment. The Initiative’s long-term goal is to develop replicable models for the scale-up of integrated programs in resource-poor settings.

To accomplish this goal, the Initiative introduces business-based procedures to HIV/AIDS care and treatment systems to improve various conditions including drug storage, tracking and distribution; program management; and information sharing. The Initiative has recruited experts with experience in business, logistics, HIV/AIDS clinical care and public health to provide technical assistance in each country.

In April 2005, the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative expanded its programs and launched its new Pediatric and Rural Initiatives to provide HIV/AIDS medications to children and persons in rural areas, those often forgotten in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Though AIDS care and treatment is now finally taking off in the developing world, the focus thus far has been mainly on adults and on people living in cities and towns. These initiatives aim to make a significant difference in the battle against AIDS in children and in rural areas.

For his work on HIV/AIDS, President Clinton was honored with the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the 2005 Pasteur Foundation Award.

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Gujarat, India, President Clinton helped found the American India Foundation, which is dedicated to accelerating social and economic change in India by connecting communities and resources across the US and India. In addition, President Clinton served as Co-Chair of the Families of Freedom Fund with Senator Bob Dole, which raised more than $100 million in scholarship money for families of those killed or injured on 9/11.

More recently, after the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, President George W. Bush asked President Clinton and President George H.W. Bush to lead a nationwide fundraising effort to help bring much-needed relief to the victims of this disaster. Besides doing a number of public service announcements and media and public appearances to focus attention on this cause, the former presidents traveled to Asia in February 2005 to witness the effects of the tsunami and the reconstruction efforts firsthand.

In March 2005, President Clinton was named Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Burkle Center for International Relations