2002 Democracy Service Medal Presented to Chen-Wu Sue-jen, Jan Nowak, and Paula J. Dobriansky

September 01, 2002
05:00 pm - 07:00 pm


  • Carl Gershman, NED President


  • Paula Dobriansky
  • Stephen Solarz
  • Walt Raymond
  • Nadia Diuk
  • Eugenia Kemble

Chen-Wu Sue-jen, First Lady of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Presented by U.S. Representative Christopher Cox, a member of the bi-partisan NED Board, the House Republican Leadership and the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, the Service Medal was given in recognition of Mrs. Chen’s great personal contribution to the establishment of full democracy in Taiwan.  See Full Tribute

Mrs. Chen accepted the Medal with spontaneous and heartfelt remarks, and pledged that Taiwan would soon establish its own democracy promotion foundation.

NED’s relationship with the ROC goes back to 1995, when its International Forum for Democratic Studies co-sponsored, with Taiwan’s Institute for National Policy Research, a conference on “Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies.” The following year NED honored President Lee Teng Hui and the people of Taiwan at a Capitol Hill reception after it held its first direct Presidential election.

Since the Endowment’s founding, other democracies have created organizations with a similar mission, helping to make democracy promotion a truly global effort. We welcome Taiwan’s entry into this important area of work.

Jan Nowak

From the very inception of the NED in 1983 until the momentous events of 1989, Jan Novak was intimately associated with the Endowment’s efforts to aid the movement for democracy in Poland. He was a powerful advocate of aid to the Solidarity trade union movement and of programs to provide assistance to Polish political prisoners and democratic intellectuals. As a result of his leadership and commitment, the assistance to many of the Polish groups the NED helped was provided through the Polish American Congress.

In addition to being a steady source of advice and inspiration, Jan also helped mobilize political support for the NED in the Congress. He understood that the NED’s struggle to survive and grow was a critical aspect of the movement to bring democracy to Poland and the other countries of the Soviet Bloc.

With the triumph of that movement, to which his unswerving commitment and indomitable spirit made such an important contribution, Jan quickly turned his attention to the consolidation of the new Polish democracy and to the security of Poland in the heart of Europe. Here, too, his contribution has been unique and decisive. He has been tireless in pressing for every measure that would enhance Poland’s democratic institutions and political security, from the admission to NATO to the creation of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. If Poland and the United States are today the closest of democratic allies, this is due in no small measure to Jan’s devotion to both countries and to their enduring friendship.

As Jan makes his final preparations to return to Poland, the National Endowment for Democracy is honored to pay tribute to a lifetime of outstanding work on its behalf by presenting him with the Democracy Service Medal.

Paula Dobriansky

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) presented its Democracy Service Medal to Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cause of democracy and for her service on the NED Board of Directors.

“Diplomat, democrat, scholar, colleague – Paula Dobriansky is a rare and accomplished individual who has consistently brought her many and considerable gifts to bear in working to promote the principles of democracy and human rights around the world,” said Carl Gershman, President of the NED. “Whether at State, the U.S. Information Agency, the National Security Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, or at NED, Paula has always worked to advance freedom, and in the process has won many friends and admirers in the world-wide community of democrats.”

The presentation took place at a dinner held at the Chancery of the Slovak Republic, hosted by Ambassador Martin Bútora. Bútora was awarded the Service Medal in 1999 on the 10th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in then Czechoslovakia, in which he was a leading figure.

Additional Remarks were given by:

  • U.S. Representative Christopher Cox
  • NED Vice Chairman Thomas R. Donahue

The Medal was presented by NED Chairman Vin Weber.