Democracy and Human Rights: Why American Leadership Matters—A Conversation in partnership with Freedom House and the George W. Bush Institute
September 22nd, 2021 12:00PM -1:00PM
Around the world, democracy is under assault – even within the borders of the European Union, founded on core democratic values, and the United States, startlingly witnessed in the January 6 assault on the Capitol and our most fundamental democratic processes. Can the United States continue to promote democracy and human rights abroad when there is much to do to shore up our democratic institutions and norms at home? Can we afford not to lead globally? Join the World Affairs Council, Freedom House, and the George W. Bush Institute on September 22, 2021, for a conversation on the role of the United States in promoting democracy and human rights.
Read panelist Nicole Bibbins Sedaca's call to action on the George W. Bush Institute website here.
About the speakers
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca serves as the Executive Vice President of Freedom House, where she oversees the organization's strategy and programs.
Prior to joining Freedom House, Ms. Bibbins Sedaca served as the Deputy Director of Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program, the Co-Chair for the Global Politics and Security Concentration, and a Professor in the Practice of International Affairs in MSFS. She is also the Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute.
Ms. Bibbins Sedaca has held numerous positions in the public and non-governmental sectors in the United States and Ecuador. She served for ten years in the United States Department of State, working on democracy promotion, human rights, human trafficking, religious freedom, refugees, and counterterrorism. Following her governmental service, she opened and directed the International Republican Institute’s local governance program in Ecuador. She also taught at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) on democratization and conflict resolution. She served as the Director of the Washington Office for the advisory group Independent Diplomat.
Ms. Bibbins Sedaca holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from The College of William and Mary and a Master's of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She also studied at Humboldt Universitӓt in Berlin, Germany, while on a Rotary International Scholarship. She has served on the Board of non-governmental organizations working on human trafficking, violence against the poor, and religious freedom, as well as on the Board of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, the William and Mary Fund, and the William and Mary Washington Office.
Ambassador Kelley Currie served as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and the U.S. Representative at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Prior to her appointment, she led the Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice (2019) and served under Ambassador Nikki Haley as the United States’ Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council and Alternative Representative to the UN General Assembly (2017-2018). Throughout her career in foreign policy, Ambassador Currie has specialized in human rights, political reform, development and humanitarian issues, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. From 2009 until her appointment to the USUN leadership, she served as a Senior Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute. She has held senior policy positions with the Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and several international and non-governmental human rights and humanitarian organizations. Ambassador Currie received a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.
About the Moderator
David J. Kramer joined Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs as Senior Fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy in May 2017; he is also Director for European and Eurasian Studies. Before moving to Miami, Kramer worked in Washington, DC for 24 years, most recently with the McCain Institute for International Leadership as Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy. Previously, he served for four years as President of Freedom House. Prior to that, he was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Kramer served eight years in the U.S. Department of State during the administration of President George W. Bush, including as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues); Professional Staff Member in the Secretary’s Office of Policy Planning; and Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Global Affairs. He also was Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington. He is author of the book, Back to Containment: Dealing with Putin’s Regime.