NEW YORK, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a move to address the
most critical sustainability challenges that threaten America's future,
Peter G. Peterson today announced the formation of the Peter G. Peterson
Foundation, and his commitment to fund at least $1 billion over the next
several years toward addressing these challenges.
The targets of the effort will be the most substantial economic, fiscal
and other sustainability challenges of our current age, including: the
explosive growth of Federal entitlement programs; unaffordable healthcare
costs; unprecedented trade and budget deficits along with abysmally low
savings rates, and the associated skyrocketing foreign debt; unsustainable
and gluttonous energy consumption; an uncompetitive educational system; and
the threat to our collective future from the proliferation of nuclear
"I have been around a very long time, and I have never seen so many
simultaneous challenges that I would describe as undeniable, unsustainable
and virtually untouchable politically," said Mr. Peterson, Senior Chairman
of The Blackstone Group and former U.S. Commerce Secretary. "We've reached
the make or break point in American history. These problems have reached
tidal proportions and festered for more than two decades due to political
irresponsibility -- now is the time to put politics aside and put the
country first, and begin to solve these problems with courage and clarity.
This is the moment in our history when we do what is necessary to remain a
first class country."
Leading the new foundation as President and CEO will be David M.
Walker, 56, who has served as Comptroller General of the United States for
the last nine plus years, during which he has headed the U.S. Government
Accountability Office (GAO) and has been in effect the USA's chief
accountability officer. Mr. Walker will work directly with Mr. Peterson and
the Directors of the Foundation in setting the Foundation's goals and
priorities as well as running the organization's day-to-day activities.
"Dave Walker is an ideal choice to lead this foundation because he has
tremendous focus, credibility and insight. He has a track record of
commitment to these issues and is leaving a front row seat at the center of
our government, where he acquired an insider's knowledge of and perspective
on America's long-term fiscal and other challenges and the factors that
influence them," said Peterson. "Dave fully understands the stakes for our
future, and I am confident he will serve as a powerful, credible,
non-partisan and no-nonsense voice of reason on behalf of the Foundation
and our mission."
The Peterson Foundation will focus on drawing attention to and solving
the most critical social, economic and environmental problems that threaten
the nation's economy and imperil the American way of life for future
generations. The Foundation will seek innovative means to advance its
agenda, relying on both traditional and non-traditional platforms to spread
its message and call Americans to action. When fully staffed, the
Foundation will engage or employ policy advocates, field educators, and
digital media professionals in order to mobilize key constituencies and
develop programs to support its agenda. Critical to the Foundation's
efforts will be engaging and activating young Americans and their parents,
the business community and the media.
The Foundation will finance efforts to raise public awareness and
understanding, as well as develop and implement sensible policy solutions.
The Foundation today announced the first two recipients of grants will be:
The Concord Coalition for the Fiscal Wake-up Tour and Sam Nunn's Nuclear
Threat Initiative (in partnership with Warren Buffett). A number of other
grant possibilities are currently being considered.
Peterson believes the nation's political leadership has fallen prey to
short-term thinking and lacks the courage to clearly spell out the
difficulties, contributing to a state of denial. "If Americans are told the
truth, and if they feel the required sacrifices for our common future are
fairly shared, I have enormous faith that they will respond with a
commitment to identify and implement the right solutions," Mr. Peterson
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation
The mission of The Peterson Foundation is to enhance the public
understanding of the nature and urgency of selected key sustainability
challenges that threaten America's future, to propose sensible and workable
solutions to address these challenges and to build public will to do
something about them.
SOURCE The Peter G. Peterson Foundation