Secretary of State John Merrill was awarded the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Leading Globally Matters Locally Award Tuesday during the organization’s State Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
The award recognizes Merrill’s efforts to support U.S. diplomacy and development programs that strengthen the Alabama economy and helps keep America safe.
“I am honored to be recognized for these efforts to support U.S. diplomacy and programs that are encouraging international trade,” Merrill said. “If we choose not to follow the path that’s been set by investing in international relations and international markets, it puts our local economies behind. So many times, our people are reluctant to embrace that international flavor. We’ve got to make sure that we’re taking advantage of all of those opportunities that we have, from the mom-and-pop shops all the way up to the Fortune 500 companies.”
Merrill was joined at the event by about 300 current and former elected officials. The two-day State Leadership Summit is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. The president and CEO of the USGLC is Pam Schrayer.
Merrill was one of four who were honored as Leading Globally Matters Locally Award recipients. The other three included former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker and former Florida State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.
“In my role as secretary of state, I’ve made sure to give equal attention to activities here at home and abroad in order to make it easy to do business and boost commerce in the Alabama economy,” Merrill said.
According to The Global Coalition, last year, Alabama exported $21.7 billion in goods overseas and trade supporting 488,900 local jobs.