When the U.S. Council on Competitiveness selected Rudolph Giuliani as our awardee for Public Service, we focused on two words: competitiveness and resiliency. Summarizing Maypor Giuliani’s achievements as a public servant and, perhaps most importantly, as a rallying figure in the wake of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, hardly captures the enormous and influential role he has played since his days with the Attorney General’s office in Washington to his years as mayor of New York. Even in the years since he left office, Mayor Giuliani’s voice of compassion for those in need is matched only by his passion for ensuring America remains safe, secure and a land of opportunity for all its citizens.
With high profile convictions of organized crime leaders and unscrupulous Wall Street traders, as well as a commitment to addressing lesser “nuisance” crimes, Mayor Giuliani set a positive tone for the city that continues today. Of course, these achievements all pale in comparison to his carrying the weight of a city in distress on his shoulders, as its people and Americans across the nation looked to him for leadership and a path forward out of the anger and despair of 9/11. Mayor Giuliani stood up when most needed and led the city and the nation forward. For that we are eternally grateful.
Post 9/11 the Council led an effort to explore how resiliency can impact competitiveness. Who better to personify the idea of resiliency than Mayor Giuliani, who not only led New York in the aftermath of that terrible day, but put it on a path to be stronger than ever before.
The U.S. Council on Competitiveness learned over the years through our work on clusters and regional innovation that national competitiveness is in many ways the accumulation of the competitiveness of a nation’s cities and regions. Mayor Giuliani transformed New York City into an economic powerhouse to rival any city around the world—and make no mistake that the competition today is Delhi, Shanghai, London, Sao Paulo, as much as it is Chicago and Los Angeles.