Friday, February 1 marked the last day that Hillary Rodham Clinton served as Secretary of State. In the last four years she’s traveled 956,733 miles to 112 different countries and had 1,700 meetings with world leaders. But beyond those meetings with presidents and foreign ministers she has managed to make very personal contact with people in all walks of life all around the globe.
She has been a tireless advocate for women and girls, and has convinced many that improving the condition of woman is not only the just thing to do, but the smart thing to do because no nation can afford the waste the talents of half of its people. In the same way, she has shown that the path to democracy is difficult but it is the only way to achieve a modern, stable and prosperous country.
At times in her life, she has been subject to a barrage of harsh and, at times, unfair criticism, but she has accepted this is a necessary part of public life and she has been a constant advocate for freedom of the press and freedom of expression, including online.
Many remember her visit as First Lady to Nicaragua in November of 1998 to survey the devastation from Hurricane Mitch. She brought with her $54 million in debt forgiveness for Nicaragua and Honduras, and another $57 million in food assistance. As Secretary, Hillary Clinton continued to make disaster relief and humanitarian assistance a priority for the State Department and USAID.
Read The Nicaragua Dispatch’s two-part interview with Ambassador Powers here.