By James Robe
William Jefferson Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice, led the United States to the longest economic expansion in American history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.
After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation in order to continue working on the causes he cared about. Since its founding, the Foundation has endeavored to help build more resilient communities by developing and implementing programs that improve people’s health, strengthen local economies, and protect the environment.
The Foundation is guided by the belief that every problem has a solution and together with a diverse set of partners, works to improve lives around the globe and across the United States through a wide range of initiatives, including the now independent Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which has helped over 11 million people in more than 70 countries access critical HIV/AIDS medications at CHAI-negotiated prices. The Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Development Initiative, and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership are applying a business-oriented approach to promote sustainable economic growth and fight climate change in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean. In the United States, the Foundation is focused on helping children and adults live full and active lives by working to combat the rise in childhood obesity through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership
forged with the American Heart Association; reduce health disparities and address emerging health threats like the opioid epidemic by partnering with local communities through the Clinton Health Matters Initiative; and increase awareness about the importance of early childhood development through the Foundation’s Too Small to Fail initiative.
The Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock remains the heart and soul of the Clinton Foundation, and since it opened its doors in 2004, the Clinton Center has hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, catalyzing $3.3 billion in economic impact throughout the community. Today, the Clinton Center also cooperatively manages the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program—a joint effort between the George W. Bush PresidentialCenter, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation that seeks to equip emerging leaders with the tools they need to drive positive change in their communities.
Above all, President Clinton has always believed that we can do more together than any of us can do on our own. In 2005, he founded the Clinton Global Initiative to foster partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations and private citizens to turn good ideas into measurable results. To date, over 3,600 CGI commitments have already improved the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries. CGI’s work continues through these ongoing commitments and through the Clinton Global Initiative University which this year, celebrates 10 years of bringing together college and university students from every corner of the globe to turn good ideas into action.
In addition to his continuing roles with the Foundation and CHAI, President Clinton has joined with other former Presidents to support relief efforts for communities recovering from natural disasters—partnering with President George H.W. Bush three times to organize aid and support for those affected by the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008, and with President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to raise money and assistance for communities devastated by the storm. To this day, the Clinton Foundation continues to support economic growth, job creation and sustainability in communities across Haiti.
President Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. He and his wife Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton have one daughter, Chelsea; two grandchildren, and live in Chappaqua, New York.
Greenbuild Plenary takes place Thursday, November 9, 6:00-7:30 pm