Skip to main content

Clinton touts 'smart power' in farewell talk

By CNN Staff
updated 3:50 PM EST, Thu January 31, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • American diplomats need a "dynamic mix" of tools, Clinton says
  • International institutions should be "more Frank Gehry than formal Greek"
  • Thursday's speech was her last as secretary of state

Washington (CNN) -- The United States needs to build "smart power" in a world where the levers of influence are changing rapidly, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday in what was billed as her farewell speech.

American diplomats have to work with entrepreneurs and activists, use new technological tools such as social media and update the global and regional institutions that have dominated international affairs since World War II, Clinton told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years.
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Clinton\'s political career Photos: Clinton's political career
Hillary Clinton exit interview with CNN

"We need a new architecture for a new world -- more Frank Gehry than formal Greek," she said. "Now some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it's highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures."

Clinton said Washington is "uniquely well-positioned" to help forge that new structure.

"Those things that make us who we are as a nation — our openness and innovation, our diversity, our devotion to human rights and democracy — are beautifully matched to the demands of this era and this interdependent world," she said.

Clinton's last day as secretary of state is Friday. She hands over her office to former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, whose nomination to the post was confirmed Tuesday.

Exiting State, Clinton looks to writing, speaking

Opinion: Joe, make way for Hillary

Opinion: Hillary Clinton's global legacy on gay rights

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT