News and Events

(16) Development, Diplomacy and Defense by Ambassador Philip Goldberg


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Photo by Ms. Nyssa Bernal

1 April 2016 – As part of the Zuellig School’s Ambassador’s Forum series, U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg visited AIM last March 3 to give a talk about the United States’ approach to supporting development in the Philippines.

H.E. Goldberg opened his talk by going back to the nature of the relationship of the two countries, describing it as a “special historical relationship”. He begins with the theme of Rebalance to Asia, the US’ organizing theme in the region. The essence of the theme is that Asia as a region is currently rising in terms of economics and demographics, and the US has large stakes involved. In the last years, the US has reinvigorated programs in the region. The Philippines, with the organizing theme Partnership for Growth, is Asia's model.


According to the Ambassador, Partnership for Growth means assisting the Philippines as it works toward inclusive and sustainable growth. The Ambassador mentions that while there has been substantial economic growth in the country, there are still issues on inclusivity, and to be able to help a country with committed effort, the US uses the 3 D’s: Development, Diplomacy, Defense.



The US holds assistance programs as their thrust for development, setting assigned around 250M USD a year.

Two main programs under this are the USAID and the Millenium Challenge Corporation. The USAID works with the government at the cabinet/secretary level. On the other hand, the Millenium Challenge Corporation focuses on projects such as good governance and anti-corruption measures, including assistance provided for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, as well as smaller scale projects and communities recommended by the communities themselves. They are also involved in large projects such as a road project in Samar.



Current efforts in diplomacy focus on trying to get policies in place to help programs for development assistance. An example of this is the US Embassy’s efforts on climate change, which involved partnerships with EU organizations, attacking some of the policy issues, and helping in terms of resiliency and building in good practices.

Another effort is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is the US’ signature trade effort in the region. This group of 12 countries which agree on creating a new environment for trade touch upon targets such as labor and environment.

There are also efforts taken for the protection of human rights and aid in the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau.



Defense contributions include foreign military funding and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. Current defense support also includes various challenges in maritime security, including current issues in the West Philippine-South China Sea.


People to People Relationship

An aspect of diplomacy that H.E. Goldberg wanted to put emphasis on are the people-to-people relationship efforts by the US Embassy.

The close binds over the years, which involve immigration to and from both countries, created a situation that needs tending. The US has tried to give support through education programs, such as scholarships and exchange programs. The embassy also currently has one of the largest consular sections in the world.

On it, H.E. Goldberg shares: “We have a very large embassy which reflects not just the legacy – what has been a historic relationship between the two countries – but also one that I think, and one that we’re emphasizing, is bringing us to the 21st century.”


After his talk, the Ambassador entertained the students’ and guests’ questions in a Q&A.


About Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg

Philip S. Goldberg was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines on November 21, 2013. From February 2010, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Until June 1, 2010, he served concurrently as the Coordinator for Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1874 on North Korea.

Ambassador Goldberg served as Ambassador to Bolivia (2006-2008), Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006) and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile (2001-2004). He is a career minister in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and served from January-June 2001 as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. He came to that position after having been a senior member of the State Department team handling the transition from the Clinton to Bush Administrations.

Read more on the US Embassy to the Philippines’ Website.


About the Ambassadors’ Forum @ AIM 

The Ambassadors’ Forum @ AIM is a venue for the professional exchange of knowledge and skills related to international development issues and trends. Its objectives are: (1) to broaden the regional and global perspective of AIM students taking up both the Master in Development Management and the Masters in Business Management,  (2) to provide a venue for the exchange of information for foreign ambassadors in Manila, and (3) to educate the community at large on internal relations and development issues and trends as they affect the Philippines and the region. Through the forum, ambassadors and embassy officials have been invited to discuss their countries’ views on Asian issues including political regimes, economics, finance, trade systems, demographics and migration, climate change and energy, strategic security, and world view.   

These fora are free and open to the public, unless stated otherwise. For information on our future events, visit the News and Events section of this website or like us on Facebook (


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