Whistlestops for Ukraine
The German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and Farm Journal are partnering on a multi-state public diplomacy initiative in support of Ukraine’s victory, recovery, and reconstruction. This whistlestop tour, headlined by GMF President Heather A. Conley and Howard Buffett, will foster conversations on how the war in Ukraine affects local, national, and global communities.
At each stop of the tour through the American heartland, representatives from local governments, civic and faith-based organizations, agricultural groups, local businesses, and Ukrainian communities will gather to discuss why a free and sovereign Ukraine matters to America.
GMF is thankful for Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova's participation and full support of the Whistlestops for Ukraine initiative.
The goals of this whistlestop tour are to:
- increase community dialogue to showcase how supporting Ukraine enhances America’s security and prosperity
- showcase how American communities have already mobilized to support Ukraine
- inform how Ukraine is discussed in local, national, and global conversations
- foster champions for Ukraine among the American people
By bringing together community leaders for these critical conversations, the GMF and its partners hope to grow support for Ukraine among the American people.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman set out for a “whistlestop” tour across the United States. While campaigning for reelection, he was also pitching the Marshall Plan to the American people. He understood the importance of farmers’ support for the plan to rebuild Europe after World War II, telling them that bumper crops of wheat and corn were vital since the United States had been under emergency conditions while being responsible for keeping millions of people from starving to death. Now, 75 years later, the German Marshall Fund, which was founded in the spirit of the original Marshall Plan, is partnering with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to create a modern “whistlestop” tour to drum up support across American agricultural communities.
Howard G. Buffett
Howard G. Buffett grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has been active in agriculture, business, conservation, philanthropy, photography, law enforcement, and politics. He is the Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private charitable foundation investing in global food security, conflict mitigation, and efforts to counter human trafficking. Mr. Buffett farms his family farm in central Illinois and oversees a family farm in Nebraska. He oversees foundation-operated research farms in Arizona, Illinois, and Nebraska.
Heather A. Conley
Heather A. Conley is the president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). She arrived at GMF after 12 years at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she most recently served as senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, and as director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program. She previously served four years as executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross. From 2001 to 2005, Conley was deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She holds a bachelor's degree in international studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a master's degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.