Oct 7, 2011


Jean Bethke Elshtain to receive NED Democracy Service Medal

Contact: Jane Riley Jacobsen, jane@ned.org, 202-378-9604 or 202-446-8615

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is pleased to announce that it will present its Democracy Service Medal to Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain on Thursday, October 13 at 5:30 PM at the University of Chicago Divinity School. The presentation will be a part of The Engaged Mind, a series of four conferences reflecting on themes drawn from the work of Jean Bethke Elshtain. The October 13-14 meeting theme is: Democracy on Trial: Religion, Civil Society, and Democratic Theory.

Regularly named as one of America's foremost public intellectuals, Jean Bethke Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, Divinity School, The University of Chicago, with appointments in Political Science and the Committee on International Relations. Professor Elshtain served on the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy for nine years, where she was the Board Specialist for South Asia. She has written and lectured extensively on the topic of Religion and Democracy, and in 2008 Elshtain delivered NED’s annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World.

The Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy created its Democracy Service Medal to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress of democracy around the world.

Democracy Service MedalThe cast bronze medallion, which reads simply, “For Service in the Cause of Democracy,” was first awarded to the former Polish President and founder of the Solidarity trade union movement Lech Walesa, and former AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland. It was presented in April 1999 on the 10th anniversary of the roundtable agreement that led to the peaceful transition to democracy in Poland. It has since been presented to a wide range of individuals who have demonstrated through personal commitment, their dedication to the advancement of freedom and human rights, and to the building of democratic institutions.

The Medal Presentation will be made by NED President Carl Gershman and will also include tributes by Dr. Francis Fukuyama and Martin Paloush, former Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the US and the United Nations.