New York (CNN) - Hillary Clinton said she worked to expand the United States' international reach and reputation during her tenure at the State Department, as she reflected on her time leading the agency during a Thursday speech.
While Clinton spoke admiringly of President George W. Bush's PEPFAR program to combat the AIDS virus in Africa, she said part of her mission at State had been to restore prominence to agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development, which promotes health and economic development abroad.
"We needed to get back to trying to make USAID the premiere development agency in the world, and to be the leader as people looked to see what worked going forward," Clinton told a USAID audience gathered in New York to mark the unveiling of a new U.S. Global Development Lab to increase the program's reach.
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Clinton served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, and the Global Development Lab was started during her tenure.
Drawing on lessons from her time in public office, Clinton advised development experts and scientists in the audience Thursday not to forget about P.R. when promoting their projects.
"Don't get so caught up in doing the work and believing how important the work is and what a difference it will make, and neglect telling the story of the work and why you're doing it," Clinton said.
The possible 2016 presidential candidate also urged the audience to try for bipartisan support on their projects.
And she voiced concern about a new climate change report, saying the changes would affect global food production.
But even during a serious policy discussion, Clinton couldn't escape questions about her political future from USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.
"I'm now going to ask you a question about Washington politics," he warned Clinton, who laughed.
"Not that question," Shah added, instead speaking with Clinton about building bipartisan support for development projects.