Secretary of State John Kerry has urged a Yale University audience to keep faith with institutions despite their failings.
Speaking at the university's 313th commencement on Sunday Kerry said institutions are failing to keep up with peoples' needs and some do not believe they can make a difference, which leads to gridlock.
Kerry, a 1966 graduate of Yale, said solving problems is a "matter of willpower, not capacity." He said it requires keeping faith with the ability of institutions to do big things.
The former U.S. senator from Massachusetts was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.
A Vietnam War veteran, Kerry later spoke out against the war and co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America.
He was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when President Barack Obama appointed him to head the State Department in 2013.
© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.