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Amb. Mendelson convenes Democracy Now and Next Speaker Series


Democracy Now and Next: Conversations with Experts on U.S. Approaches to Advancing Democracy and Countering Authoritarianism At Home and Around the World. This series is convened by Ambassador Sarah Mendelson.

Co-sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service

Today, perhaps the most critical threat to the advancement of democracy worldwide are homegrown ones, easily exploited and amplified by adversaries. Democracies everywhere have been struggling to deliver to their populations, especially since the financial crisis of 2008, enabling the rise of populists. Economic and social ills have become entirely entwined with political outcomes. The scale of the 2020 crises—health, economic, racial, environmental, and political—have now decisively affected the US ability to promote democracy and counter the rising tide of authoritarianism. The information ecosystem, driven by technology, has contributed enormously to cultures that challenge facts and thus polarize communities. The Trump Administration’s delayed acceptance of the outcome of the 2020 US election along with active attempts to overturn the results including through mob violence and bureaucratic maneuvers—plays straight out of a dictator’s handbook that the US government routinely calls as serious fouls—are symptoms of democracy in deep distress.

This moment, though, can enable once in a generation reform of how the US engages with democracy at home and around the world. New approaches, themes, and methods—paradigm shifts—can help revitalize US strategy and policy. President Biden has already made the argument about how the health of democracy at home affects our ability to work overseas. This series will include conversations with experts enmeshed in thinking through these issues to provide the Carnegie Mellon and Georgetown University communities with a front seat to these time sensitive policy conversations occurring with the incoming Administration and with members of Congress.  Specifically, we will engage experts from the nonpartisan   Task Force on US Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarian, organized by three leading Washington, DC-based organizations --   Freedom House, the   Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the   McCain Institute  -- on what issues to keep an eye out for democracy in 2021.

Sessions open to all members of CMU and Georgetown University communities.

SESSION 1 - SETTING THE STAGE: THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY

Tuesday, February 2 - 12:00 – 1:00 pm
View the Recording


Moderator
Amb. Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University

Speakers
Mike Abramowitz, President of Freedom House
Alex Their, Task Force Co-Director, Senior Democracy Fellow, Freedom House
Anne Witkowsky, Task Force Co-Director, Senior Democracy Fellow, Freedom House


SESSION 2 - INSTITUTIONS CRITICAL TO DEMOCRACY: WHAT IS NEEDED NOW?

Tuesday February 9 - 12:00 – 1:00 pm
View the Recording


Moderator
Amb. Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University

Speakers
David J. Kramer, Senior Fellow in the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights & Diplomacy and Director for European & Eurasian Studies at Florida International University's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Deputy Director and Professor, Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, Georgetown University and Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute


SESSION 3 - REFRESHING U.S. ARCHITECTURE AND ALLIANCES: THE SUMMIT FOR DEMOCRACY

Tuesday February 16 - 12:00 – 1:00 pm
View the Recording


Moderator
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Deputy Director and Professor, Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, Georgetown University and Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute

Speakers
Amb. Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University
Ashely Quarcoo, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


SESSION 4 - THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DISINFORMATION: WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

Thursday February 25* - 12:00 – 1:00 pm
View the Recording


Moderator
Amb. Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University

Speakers
Amb. Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University, FSI/Cyber Policy Center
Vera Zakem, Senior Technology and Policy Advisor at the Institute for Security and Technology and Founder of Zakem Global Strategies


SESSION 5 - THE ROLE OF CORRUPTION AND KLEPTOCRACY: REFORMS ADOPTED, AND THOSE NEEDED

Tuesday March 2 - 12:00 – 1:00 pm
RSVP To Attend


Moderator
Amb. Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University

Speaker
Stuart Levey, Former Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence


SESSION 6 - HOW DEMOCRACY INTERACTS WITH TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT: OPTIONS AND CHALLENGES

Tuesday March 9 - 12:00 – 1:00 pm
RSVP To Attend


Moderator
Amb. Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy, Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University

Speaker
Mike Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Professor and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

This speaker series is being presented as part of a course offered at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy in Spring 2021.