Lecture / Reading

Promoting Democracy Around the World – Is Now the Time?

Sponsored by Co-sponsored by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law


Friday, February 19, 2021
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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The United States has historically played an important role in promoting democracy to countries across the globe. But is the role of the U.S. as a leading advocate for democracy now diminished following the recent U.S. election and mob attack on the U.S. Capitol? 

This panel features democracy activists from around the world, all of whom are graduates of the Draper Hills Program at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. In a discussion moderated by Professor Francis Fukuyama, they will offer their perspectives on the need for democracy promotion in their home countries at the current moment, particularly what role the new Biden administration could constructively play. Professor Michael McFaul’s recent series of articles, in American Purpose, an online magazine recently launched by Professor Fukuyama, about the need for democracy promotion, will be the starting point for the discussion. 

Kondo Moussa, Class of 2018, Mali - Director Accountability Lab Mali . Kondo founded and runs the Mali chapter of the Accountability Lab, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes public accountability in six African and Asian countries. Rather than condemning corrupt leaders, it works to boost the influence of their honest counterparts, running grassroots “Integrity Idol” campaigns to celebrate their good work.

Mohamad Najem, Class of 2019, Lebanon - Mohamad is the executive director of the Beirut–based digital rights organization Social Media Exchange (SMEX), the Middle East and North Africa’s leading digital rights research and policy advocacy organization. His work includes local and regional advocacy campaigns, research on privacy, data protection, and freedom of expression. 

Shaili Chopra, Class of 2019, India - An Indian journalist turned entrepreneur whose work is focused on championing real women and their stories across India. Chopra is the founder of SheThePeople.TV, India's only women's channel. SheThePeople.TV is a form of digital democracy where women get to choose, speak up, and set the agenda. 

Anna Dobrovolskaya Class of 2019, Russia – is a human rights activist based in Moscow, serving as the executive director of the Memorial Human Rights Center (MHRC). The Center is the biggest Russian human rights NGO, working to provide legal aid and consultation for refugees and asylum seekers, monitoring human rights violations in post-conflict zones and advocating for a human-rights based approach in fighting terrorism; as well as raising awareness about politically-motivated repression in Russia and maintains its own list of political prisoners. Dobrovolskaya’s areas of expertise include human rights education and awareness-raising activities and programs for young people and activists since 2008. She is a member of the Council of Europe pool of trainers. Her work currently lies in NGO management and providing consultancy to various human rights groups and initiatives. Anna was the author of the first Russian play about the life of human rights defenders, which is being performed in Teatr.doc since 2017.

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