The Board of Directors and staff of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) were saddened by the death of Bill Richardson—a former member of Congress, governor, ambassador, and longtime supporter of NED.
“Bill was an indefatigable public servant, a dedicated practitioner of democracy, and a friend of NED from the very start,” said NED President and CEO Damon Wilson. “He went to extraordinary personal lengths throughout his career to support, protect, and often free individuals deprived of their freedoms. We join his family and friends in mourning his loss.”
In 1983, then-Representative Richardson advocated for the founding of NED in Congressional debates. He also participated in NED’s first major conference on Capitol Hill in May 1987, speaking alongside prominent democracy scholars Seymour Martin Lipset, Juan Linz, Larry Diamond and Samuel Huntington about the importance of building democratic institutions.
“To summarize what the Endowment is able to do…. is to highlight the U.S. consensus in favor of encouraging democratic institutions, pushing democracy, pushing freedom of the press and the right of community institutions to participate in democratic processes in various nations,” Richardson said at the conference. “If you look at the projects the Endowment supports, you will see that it does not discriminate between governments on the right and those on the left. It promotes democratic institutions in various countries on each end of the spectrum. This is why, I think, the Endowment has had considerable successes, and increasing support in Congress.”
The NED community is grateful for Bill Richardson’s leadership and longtime friendship.