Hillary Clinton in elite company as Liberty Medal recipient
When former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton receives the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, she’ll join an elite list of leaders and humanitarians.
The 25th annual Liberty Medal ceremony is at 7 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia and will be broadcast live on WPVI-TV/6abc.
Last year, Muhammad Ali received the medal at the National Constitution Center. Lech Walesa was awarded the first Liberty Medal in 1989.
“Liberty is not only a right, but also our common responsibility and duty,” Walesa said in his acceptance speech.
Past recipients include three American presidents (Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton), world leaders (Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Kofi Annan), two Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O’Connor and Thurgood Marshall) and icons like Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel.
Established in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Medal is awarded annually to men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. The medal was first administered by the National Constitution Center in 2006.
Six recipients of the medal have subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Throughout her nearly four-decade career as one of America’s most dedicated public servants, Secretary Clinton has continued to champion equal opportunities for women and girls in order to advance the security and prosperity of all people and nations. As the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton broke national and global barriers. She was the first First Lady to serve in a presidential Cabinet. She traveled to more countries than any other Secretary of State. She used social media to engage citizens in the workings of diplomacy, and she paid an official visit to Burma, making her the highest U.S. representative to do so in half a century. As Secretary of State, Clinton advocated for “smart power” in foreign policy, elevating diplomacy and development and repositioning them for the 21st century—with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world.
Clinton served as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States from January 21, 2009 until February 1, 2013, after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator.
As First Lady, Hillary Clinton advocated for universal affordable, quality health care and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and establish both the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Early Head Start, which provides support for children in the crucial first three years of life.
She also traveled to more than 80 countries as a representative of our country, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy, civil society, and opportunities for women and girls around the world.
In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate. She worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care, including for wounded service members, veterans and members of the Nationa Guard and Reserves. After September 11, 2001, she helped secure more than $20 billion for the rebuilding of New York and fought for the health needs of first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero.
In 2007 and 2008, Clinton made her historic campaign for President of the United States, winning 18 million votes, and more primaries and delegates than any woman had before.
In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world and strengthening its global leadership. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy elevated American diplomacy and development and repositioned them for the 21st century—with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world. As America’s chief diplomat and the President’s principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton spearheaded progress on many of our greatest national security challenges, from reasserting the United States as a Pacific power and imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea to responding to the challenges and opportunities of the Arab Awakening and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. She pushed the frontiers of human rights and demonstrated that giving women the opportunity to participate fully is vital to the security, stability, and prosperity of all nations.
Today, Clinton continues to build on the nonprofit work she began nearly four decades ago through the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which works to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among businesses, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens.