Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, who served under Secretary Hillary Clinton from 2009-2013, traveled to 53 countries: some, several times. She described her experience to a transfixed group of women–at a luncheon in November at the Glen Arbor Golf Club benefiting Neighbor’s Link. She stated that Hillary Clinton “institutionalized” an agenda within the State Dept. to empower women and strengthen their futures around the planet.
She spoke of her efforts to fight human rights abuses such as honor killings and defending the rights of refugees too. Secretary Clinton, she said, “opened up the space to put these issues on the agenda and exact accountability.” “My greatest accomplishment,” Otero said, “was being able to articulate issues and policies at the highest levels and see things through.”
She related that in Uganda, for example, the rights of the LGBT community are under fire.
Otero learned of one lesbian Ugandan woman whose very life was in danger; she and her staff arranged to bring her to the United States for a photo op with Secretary Clinton. “That photo protected her life.”
– Grace Bennett