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Top-tier diplomats, foreign policy experts, and former White House officials will gather at Kenyon College on April 12-14 to discuss the role of the United States in promoting democracy around the world.
Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations, will open the conference by addressing the question posed by the title of the conference: "Should America Promote Democracy Abroad?"The Center for the Study of American Democracy (CSAD) at Kenyon hosts the conference in the wake of the Arab Spring, two U.S. wars and disputed elections in Russia and Iran.
Participants represent the full ideological spectrum and a wealth of hands-on experience in navigating global turmoil with democracy as the beacon. Participants include Elliott Abrams, former assistant secretary of state and advisor to President George W. Bush; Nicholas Burns, former ambassador to Greece and NATO and former special assistant to President Bill Clinton; Morton H. Halperin, foreign-policy adviser to three U.S. presidents; and James Zogby, president and founder of the Arab American Institute. A broad range of democratization practitioners, leaders of non-governmental organizations, policy analysts, and journalists will also participate.
"The issue of whether and how to promote liberal democracy is made especially timely by recent events in the Middle East and around the world," said Thomas O. Karako, CSAD director. "For better or worse, there seems to be a characteristically American impulse to try to promote the blessings of liberty and democracy abroad. Sometimes it has gone well, sometimes less so. Sometimes it promotes our national security, sometimes not.
"We've invited these people to Kenyon to participate in a wide-ranging and thoughtful discussion of the questions behind the latest headlines and foreign policy pronouncements."
Events are free, and the public is encouraged to attend. Registration is not required. The keynote address by Khalilzad is at Rosse Hall. All other events are at the Gund Gallery Community Foundation Theater.Conference participants:
Elliott Abrams, former assistant secretary of state, White House adviser on Middle East affairs, former deputy national security advisor, and special assistant to presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
John Agresto, former provost and dean at the American University of Iraq and former higher-education senior advisor for the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq.
Karan Bhatia, General Electric vice president and senior counsel for international law and policy, former deputy U.S. trade representative.
Nicholas Burns, Harvard Kennedy School faculty, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former undersecretary of state, former U.S. ambassador to Greece and NATO, former special assistant to President Bill Clinton.
Leslie Campbell, senior associate and director of Middle East and Africa programs for the National Democratic Institute.
Scott Carpenter, Google Ideas principal and adjunct fellow at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, former deputy assistant secretary at U.S. State Department, former governance group director of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
Anthony H. Cordesman, strategy chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, security consultant for U.S. departments of State and Defense and intelligence community.
Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution, Stanford University faculty, former senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, adviser to World Bank, United Nations and U.S. State Department.
Nadia Diuk, National Endowment for Democracy vice president for programs.
Tom Garrett, International Republican Institute vice president for programs, elections observer in nine countries.
Danya Greenfield, deputy director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council.
Morton H. Halperin, foreign-policy adviser to three U.S. presidents, former director of ACLU Washington office.
Melinda Haring, Eurasia Foundation communications officer.
Al Hunt, Bloomberg News Washington editor.
Charles Kesler, Claremont Institute, editor Claremont Review of Books, Claremont McKenna College faculty.
Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations.
David Kramer, Freedom House president, former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor.
Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings Institution, U.S. defense-strategy specialist.
Adam Przeworski, New York University faculty in politics and European studies.
Jamila Raqib, Einstein Institute executive director.
Tony Smith, Tufts University faculty in international politics.
John D. Sullivan, Center for International Private Enterprise executive director.
Judy Woodruff, broadcast journalist, Bloomberg News.
James Zogby, president and founder of the Arab American Institute, co-founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Thursday, April 12
7:00 p.m. Keynote by Zalmay Khalilzad: Should America Promote Democracy Abroad?
Friday, April 13
9:30 a.m. Remarks.
- Nicholas Burns
- Elliott Abrams
10:30 a.m. panel: Assessing the Arab Spring and Democracy in the Middle East
- John Agresto
- James Zogby
- Danya Greenfield
- Karan Bhatia
1:30 p.m. Remarks:
- Judy Woodruff
- Al Hunt
2:45 p.m. panel: Is the Promotion of Democracy in America's Best Interest?
- Scott Carpenter
- Charles Kesler
- Michael E. O'Hanlon
- Anthony Cordesman
- Tony Smith
4:30 p.m. panel: Promoting Democracy beyond the Middle East
- Morton H. Halperin
- Nadia Diuk
- Adam Przeworski
- John D. Sullivan
Saturday, April 14
9:00 a.m. panel: The Mechanics of Democracy Promotion
- David Kramer
- Les Campbell
- Melinda Haring
- Jamila Raqib
- Tom Garrett,
11:30 a.m. Closing Address by Larry Diamond
CSAD organizes conferences, lectures and seminars with the goal of stimulating nonpartisan civic and political discourse. The center is funded in part through a We the People Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other donors and foundations.