Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton highlighted a new outlook for American diplomacy and development through strengthening “civilian power,” a group of civilian experts who pursue diplomacy and international development in hopes of solving public health, agriculture and food insecurity, and other global challenges.

In a new editorial for the Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases published today, Sabin President Dr. Peter Hotez details the reasons why neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) should be a major part of Secretary Clinton’s forthcoming campaign to strengthen diplomacy efforts abroad.

Dr. Hotez writes that “there are a number of reasons why taking on the NTDs would be a worthy early first test for civilian power. It is now possible to control or in some cases eliminate one or more of the seven most common NTDs.”

Increasing NTD control efforts resonates with Secretary Clinton’s vision to empower and strengthen fragile states. Dr. Hotez writes that because NTDs destabilize these communities and also represent important impediments to human rights, NTD control should comprise an essential element of civilian power for the reinvention of American diplomacy and development.

Read “Unleashing ‘Civilian Power’: A New American Diplomacy through Neglected Tropical Disease Control, Elimination, Research, and Development.”