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No-Host Lunch with Senator Duckworth February 2023
March 01, 2023 | by AmCham Webmaster

It isn’t often we get to meet a real hero. AmCham Indonesia had that pleasure by hosting a lunch with US Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), on Feb 24. A former combat helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in the Iraq War, Duckworth suffered various hardships throughout her life only to ultimately succeed as a prominent US Senator. She is now in her second six-year term representing Illinois and is a member of the prestigious Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

She also attended Jakarta International School during her primary and middle school years – and speaks Bahasa Indonesia! She was visiting her former home town for meetings on the economy, the political situation and defense. Her inspirational story, intellect and compassion were much in evidence during the closed-door lunch, much of it devoted to detailed discussions on business in Indonesia. She was particularly interested to know more about US companies in manufacturing, mining, and energy. 

Duckworth’s life story is the stuff of legend. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during the Iraq War, where she lost her legs to a rocket propelled grenade that exploded in her lap. She was the first Thai-American woman elected to Congress, including being the first woman with a disability to give birth to her two children while serving in the Senate. Did she bring her toddlers to work? You know she did. She also was one of Joe Biden’s strong candidates for vice president during the 2020 election.

Duckworth also was eager to discuss green energy (EVs), and further cooperation between her state and companies in Indonesia.

Her overall message: Indonesia is a big important country and the US needs to be paying closer attention to the relationship.

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