At this year’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit, the State Department’s Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook spoke with the Honorable Juan Zarate about U.S. foreign policy toward Iran, FDD Senior Vice President Jonathan Schanzer presented the Alberto Nisman Award for Courage to the FBI Speical Agents and Southern District of New York Assistant U.S. Attorneys who worked on United States vs. Atilla sanctions-busting case, and FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz presented the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Statesmanship Award to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who later joined FDD President Clifford D. May for a conversation on foreign policy and national security.
I’m very honored…delighted to introduce the FDD Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Statesmanship Award
and this year’s recipient, Ambassador Nikki Haley.
—Mark Dubowitz at FDD’s 2018 National Security Summit
At this year’s FDD National Security Summit, CEO Mark Dubowitz presented Ambassador Nikki Haley with the FDD Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Statesmanship Award which honors President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 U.S. ambassador to the UN and former board member of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
FDD President Clifford D. May described her as, ‘combative, authoritative, eloquent, and elegant.’
Ambassador Kirkpatrick, who passed away 12 years ago, was born in rural Oklahoma to a dollar-a-day oil rig laborer. Grit and determination were in her nature. Even as a member of Reagan’s opposition party, she proved her mettle and became a trusted member of his cabinet—the first woman to hold the position. Ambassador Kirkpatrick foresaw that it was only a matter of time before the terrorism threatening American allies and interests abroad would come to its shore. Two weeks before the attacks on 9/11, she pulled together a bipartisan group of policymakers and philanthropists. FDD was created shortly thereafter, and Ambassador Kirkpatrick served as a founding board member. FDD President Clifford D. May described her as, “combative, authoritative, eloquent, and elegant.”
Ambassador Haley also fits that description. From overcoming prejudice as a the child of Sikh immigrants to representing the United States’ Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Haley has exemplified the American dream pursued and fulfilled.
Since assuming this role, Ambassador Haley has has led efforts to increase pressure on North Korea, called out Iran and Russia for their role in Syria, extended U.S. deterrent warning in Syria beyond chemical weapons to include wider military operations, told the truth about Venezuela becoming a “criminal narco-state,” and confronted the relentless anti-Israel bias in the UN. In a word, she is the nemesis of totalitarians.
Displaying great devotion to her role as the American advocate at the UN, Ambassador Haley has led the U.S. to exit organisations and deals that are “beneficial to other countries but not to us.”
She also withdrew the U.S. from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), describing the organization as “a protector of human rights abusers.” Many countries were embarrassed by it and agreed reforms were necessary, “but they would only tell me that behind closed doors.” As a strong supporter of human rights, Ambassador Haley wasn’t one to turn a blind eye while bad actors used UNHRC membership as immunity from scrutiny—she took action: “It was a problem, and we got out.”
She has cut U.S. funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)—a move FDD has long recommended. UNRWA has served not as a refugee agency, but as a welfare agency that keeps millions of people in a permanent state of dependency and poverty. As a promoter of human rights, Ambassador Haley recognized the genuine need of the Palestinian people and did not deny that the U.S. is a generous nation, very willing to partner with those countries that share our values. But she wasn’t willing to continue financing a Palestinian government that shamelessly bashes America, harbors terrorists, commits human rights abuses, and threatens the security of Israel—America’s chief ally in the region.
Ambassador Haley has also spearheaded efforts in the UN to get serious about targeting terrorists’ use of human shields. The international community has largely failed to condemn those who are using human shields to protect combatants, missiles, and terrorists. It is her aim to have the UN acknowledge who is behind this “most cowardly act” and eventually have a resolution in the Security Council.
What I love about Jeane Kirkpatrick and what I see in the similarities about both of us was we both fight for freedom and we love defending America. It’s a pleasure and an honor to defend a country you just love so much.
These are just a few examples of the tenacious leadership that makes Ambassador Haley so suited for the FDD Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Statesmanship Award. Upon receiving the award, Ambassador Haley remarked: “What I love about Jeane Kirkpatrick and what I see in the similarities about both of us was we both fight for freedom and we love defending America. It’s a pleasure and an honor to defend a country you just love so much.”