January 22, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate Approval To Be Secretary of State
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Barack Obama's nomination of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to be Secretary of State.
WASHINGTON—The AFT congratulates Hillary Clinton on being confirmed as our nation's new Secretary of State. We, and particularly our New York affiliates, have had the pleasure of working with Secretary Clinton throughout much of her public career. She is uniquely prepared to direct our nation's international involvement at a time of great challenges.
The AFT has a long and proud history of commitment to international affairs—of defending, expanding and improving human rights; working with trade unions in other countries to help enhance their members' lives; and, most recently, working with African teachers unions in the fight against the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS. We know, as does Secretary Clinton, that education is one of the most effective weapons in the international war on poverty, in promoting democracy, in creating equal opportunities for women, and in fighting the spread of infectious diseases. Secretary Clinton will be a strong and vocal advocate for these issues.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.