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Remarks at the Reception for Ambassador William Swing

John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 23, 2008

Thank you, Sam. I’m delighted to see so many distinguished members of the diplomatic corps here tonight. Thank you for coming. It is a pleasure to introduce my good friend, Ambassador Bill Swing, whom the United States proudly supports for Director General of the International Organization for Migration. Bill is an inspiring leader who has dedicated his life to public service, and IOM has much to gain from his talents.

In the coming years, IOM will confront important institutional and policy challenges. Migration is by its nature a transnational issue of increasing importance that affects societies in every part of the world and in every stage of development. It crisscrosses with numerous issues, including labor, development, human rights, climate change, and security. To navigate successfully, IOM needs strong partnerships with national governments and other international organizations. It must also work continuously to strengthen the trust of member states through improved coordination and transparency. And, most fundamentally, it must have leadership capable of achieving these goals.

Ambassador Swing is a talented leader, a skilled manager, and a master negotiator. He has served six ambassadorial tours in some of the world’s most challenging environments, where he has proven his ability to help developing nations overcome the challenges they face. Most recently, he led the UN’s 17,000-man peacekeeping operation in the Congo—an enormously complex, highly technical mission that, under his leadership, helped protect the Congolese people and their transition to democratic rule after an unimaginably brutal civil war. Bill Swing’s particular combination of leadership, talents, experience, and success is both rare and essential to an organization like IOM.

Ambassador Swing will also bring a coherent vision to strengthen the organization. He understands the importance of member states, international partners, and internal staff, and will focus on improving relationships with all three. Bill’s vision reflects his leadership style: inclusive, respectful, and mission-oriented.

This is why Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress, along with the Administration, support his candidacy. Tonight, Bill looks forward to hearing your views on migration policies and programs and to telling us more about his vision for IOM’s future.

It is with great pride that I introduce Ambassador Bill Swing.



Released on April 28, 2008

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