Throughout much of American history, it was traditional for presidents leaving office to go gently into retirement, occasionally consulted by successors but remaining well outside their former spotlight. In recent times, however, that has changed dramatically for some outgoing presidents, including Bill Clinton.
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON IN THE OVAL OFFICE
Perhaps it’s that our presidents in recent decades have been younger – not feeling ready to relinquish all the action just because their service in the oval office has come to an end. Bill Clinton was just 46 years old when he took office in 1993, so barely in his mid-50s as he “retired” from the White House. He’s made the most of the intervening years; a former President of the United States using his unparalleled visibility, connections and clout to promote greater good around the world.
Clinton said that he wished to make a “measurable difference,” focusing on national and international problems he came to know intimately as President. Toward that end, he created the William J. Clinton Foundation when he left office in 2001. The Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to “improve global health, education, economies and environments” – a tall order, and one for which President Barack Obama has dubbed him the “Do-Gooder-in-Chief.”
PRISTINE GOLD SERVICE PLATE FROM CLINTON'S WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - THIS PIECE IS IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION - AS WELL AS OTHER IMPORTANT BILL CLINTON PIECES FROM THE SAME SET
With staff and volunteers around the world, the Foundation works to find actionable solutions to a wide range of issues, including:
- Improving global health Increase opportunities for women and girls
- Reducing childhood obesity
- Eliminating preventable diseases, especially AIDS
- Enhancing economic opportunities in the US, Africa and Latin America
- Helping communities deal with the effects of climate change
One of the Foundation’s most prominent projects is the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), established in 2005. CGI brings together leaders from around the world to contemplate innovative solutions to critical problems. Unlike other organizations, the Clinton Global Initiative takes a unique approach that does not involve direct action to address specific issues. Instead, the focus is on creative thinking, networking, knowledge-building and collaboration.
As part of the Clinton Global Initiative’s efforts, Bill Clinton himself has traveled to Africa five times – once accompanied by Bill Gates – to promote efforts aimed at eradicating HIV/AIDS. He has teamed up with former President George H. W. Bush three times – to raise awareness and funding to assist victims of the South Asia tsunami in 2004, of Hurricane Katrina in 2004 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.
BILL CLINTON STILL IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN FINDING SOLUTIONS TO CRITICAL WORLD PROBLEMS
Clinton joined former President George W. Bush in raising money to rebuild Haiti – especially the country’s schools – following the devastating earthquake that occurred in 2010. The Foundation continues to work to create jobs and economic growth and improve sustainability in Haiti.
Most recently, “CGI University” just concluded a gathering of 1000 students from 300 schools in 75 countries, held at the University of Miami. Together, participants developed 700 Commitments to Action focusing on “new, specific, actionable plans to address pressing challenges facing campuses and communities.” Those action plans include efforts to encourage more girls to choose STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, bringing affordable, renewable energy to rural communities and improving nutrition in areas the Foundation calls “food deserts.”
Bill Clinton’s action-oriented presidential after-life has drawn attention and support from governments, organizations and individuals around the world. But he has also recruited support from his own family – so much so that the Foundation was formally renamed in 2013 to reflect the extensive involvement of the former First Lady and First Daughter. It is now known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR
World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired select pieces from Bill Clinton's White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. Mr. Amyx's collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.