NED President Carl Gershman to Retire in 2021

Heidrick & Struggles to manage executive search

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has begun the search for its next president after founding president Carl Gershman  announced that he plans to retire in 2021.  Gershman has served as NED’s leader since operations began in 1984.

“Carl Gershman has provided outstanding, visionary leadership for the Endowment for 37 years,” said NED Chairman Andrew H. Card, Jr. “His dedication to the cause of democracy is unparalleled. Carl has grown the NED from a small grant-maker into a thriving foundation that is a comprehensive support system for people in every region of the world who are working for a democratic future.”

Commenting on the road ahead for the Endowment, Card added, “NED will continue to thrive as an institution that approaches its mission with humility and a clear eye to the challenges facing democracy everywhere, but also with confidence in the universal relevance and appeal of democratic values. NED will continue to be an institution that works in solidarity with all those around the word who struggle, often against tremendous odds, to build, sustain, and strengthen democracy.”

The NED Board of Directors has formed a search committee and has engaged the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to manage the search process.  Inquiries can be sent to

The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, nonprofit, grant-making foundation with a mission to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. With an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress, the NED Board, which is independent and bipartisan, makes nearly 2000 grants each year to support projects that promote political and economic freedom and participation, human rights, a strong civil society, independent media, and the rule of law in 100 countries. Four independent organizations serve as core institutes of the Endowment. They are the International Republican Institute (IRI), The National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Solidarity Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).