Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was awarded the 2013 Liberty Medalin recognition of her lifelong career in public service and for her ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of women and girls around the globe. Secretary Clinton was honored with the prestigious award during the 25th annual Liberty Medal ceremony on September 10, 2013 at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia.
Throughout her nearly four-decade career as one of America’s most dedicated public servants, Secretary Clinton has continued to champion equal opportunities for women and girls in order to advance the security and prosperity of all people and nations. As the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton broke national and global barriers. She was the first First Lady to serve in a presidential Cabinet. She traveled to more countries than any other Secretary of State. She used social media to engage citizens in the workings of diplomacy, and she paid an official visit to Burma, making her the highest U.S. representative to do so in half a century. As Secretary of State, Clinton advocated for “smart power” in foreign policy, elevating diplomacy and development and repositioning them for the 21st century—with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world.
“Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,” said National Constitution Center Chairman Governor Jeb Bush. “These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”
“The Liberty Medal recognizes individuals who have furthered the ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality, often against great odds,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen. “Hillary Clinton has devoted her life to expanding opportunities for ‘We the People’ not just in this country but around the globe.”
“Hillary Clinton’s lifelong commitment and sense of civic duty is admirable and a reminder of the importance of actively participating in our democracy,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. “The Liberty Medal is another defining moment in a lifetime of moments for the former Secretary of State and is justly deserved.”
“As a life-long public servant, elected official, advocate and civic leader, Hillary Clinton has championed critical issues which she passionately cares about, collaborated with colleagues across the political spectrum, and worked on behalf of every American,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “She is a most deserving addition to the list of renowned men and women who have been awarded the Liberty Medal. I am thrilled the National Constitution Center has chosen to honor her contributions and achievements.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States from January 21, 2009 until February 1, 2013, after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator.
As First Lady, Hillary Clinton advocated for universal affordable, quality health care and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and establish both the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Early Head Start, which provides support for children in the crucial first three years of life.
She also traveled to more than 80 countries as a representative of our country, winning respect as a champion of human rights, democracy, civil society, and opportunities for women and girls around the world.
In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate. She worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care, including for wounded service members, veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves. After September 11, 2001, she helped secure more than $20 billion for the rebuilding of New York and fought for the health needs of first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero.
In 2007 and 2008, Clinton made her historic campaign for President of the United States, winning 18 million votes, and more primaries and delegates than any woman had before.
In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world and strengthening its global leadership. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy elevated American diplomacy and development and repositioned them for the 21st century—with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world. As America’s chief diplomat and the President’s principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton spearheaded progress on many of our greatest national security challenges, from reasserting the United States as a Pacific power and imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea to responding to the challenges and opportunities of the Arab Awakening and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. She pushed the frontiers of human rights and demonstrated that giving women the opportunity to participate fully is vital to the security, stability, and prosperity of all nations.
Today, Clinton continues to build on the nonprofit work she began nearly four decades ago through the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which works to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among businesses, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens.
The Liberty Medal was established in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Given annually, the medal honors men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. The Liberty Medal was first administered by the National Constitution Center in 2006, when Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were honored for their bipartisan humanitarian efforts on behalf of the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast.
Last year’s medal was awarded to Muhammad Ali. Other past Liberty Medal winners include Nelson Mandela, Shimon Peres, Kofi Annan, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, and Bono. The Medal also has been awarded to organizations, including Doctors Without Borders and CNN International. Six recipients of the Medal subsequently have won the Nobel Peace Prize.