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Whitman’s Haynie participates in veteran working group at Clinton Global Initiative meeting

Mike Haynie, Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School, and founding director of the newly established Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, a national center committed to higher education and employment for veterans and their families, is taking part in the veteran working group during this week’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The meeting, CGI America, is the first CGI event solely dedicated to economic issues impacting our country. Its focus is job creation and economic growth in the United States.


CGI America takes place in Chicago June 29-30, and brings together leaders from business, non-profit and government sectors to develop new ideas for generating jobs through a series of working groups on selected topics. Attendees have selected to take part in one working group, which convenes three times over the course of the meeting. Facilitated by an expert, each group will focus on developing ideas for concrete, immediate action.

Haynie will participate in the working group Operation Employment: Empowering America’s Newest Veterans. His participation can be followed via Twitter (, hashtag #CGIAmerica) or CGI’s live stream.

“The CGI represents an important opportunity to engage in a dialogue with leaders from business and industry, higher education and government, focused on innovative solutions to address the issues and challenges faced by our veterans and their families,” says Haynie. “The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University is committed to play an important role in terms of both identifying and acting on those solutions. We are happy to have been invited to participate in CGI America.”


The veterans working group will be led by Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a veteran of Iraq; and Matt Flavin, director of the White House Office of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Participants will focus on developing strategies to lower unemployment among new veterans by educating and assisting employers and equipping veterans with critical tools for success.

The discussion will include the development of strategies to increase civilian employer understanding of veteran experiences and job skills, in order to facilitate an easier military-to-civilian career transition; how best practices among veteran-friendly corporations can highlight new ways to strategically improve veteran hiring among major employers; and examining how successful examples of veteran-launched advocacy organizations, non-profits and small businesses have helped inspire entrepreneurship among new veterans. The group will also discuss how the development of more robust networking and mentorship opportunities is critical to improving the post-service transition process; why addressing vets as valuable additions for employers, rather than liabilities, is so crucial; and how increasing awareness of support services available to both veterans and employers is a key priority to improving veteran hiring initiatives.

As a result of this participation, Haynie and the IVMF will make a set of public commitments to action at the CGI, positioned to address some of the issues raised above.