During his speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009, the President articulated a vision for a New Beginning with Muslims around the world -- one based on mutual respect and the pursuit of partnerships in areas of mutual interest. Around the world, from Rabat to Jakarta, the United States is engaging Muslim communities around the world and building mutually beneficial partnerships that expand opportunity. As part of our commitment to dialogue, our embassies have held roundtables with thousands of students, civil society leaders and entrepreneurs, among others, and senior officials like Secretary Clinton have held televised townhalls.
Over the past nine months, the Administration has been delivering on the specific commitments the President made in his speech – from appointing science envoys, creating a Technology and Innovation Fund, and expanding exchanges to hosting a Summit on Entrepreneurship in April. But, the U.S. Government has done far more than deliver the specific commitments from President Obama's speech. For example, while we have partnered with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to eradicate polio, we also worked with Saudi Arabia to prevent the spread of H1N1 influenza during hajj.
The speech in Cairo expressed an overarching vision for our engagement. To help pursue that vision, the President recently appointed Rashad Hussain to be his Special Envoy to the OIC. Rashad has played an important role in developing the New Beginning we seek with Muslim communities around the world. In his new position, he will continue to play a key role in expanding our engagement with Muslims around the world. Get to know Rashad in this video:
And in case you missed it last year, Rashad was profiled with two other Muslim Americans working in the Federal Government:
Pradeep Ramamurthy is the Senior Director for Global Engagement with the National Security Council