Despite widespread skepticism about U.S. democracy promotion, democracies remain the most effective form of government to foster peace, internal stability, and social and economic development.
To the extent that the war in Iraq has engendered disillusionment about democracy promotion, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Better World Campaign hosted a panel discussion to explain why the core principles and concepts underlying democratic promotion should merit continued support by the next administration- The American Academy of Diplomacy
Lorne W. Craner
Lorne Craner returned to the International Republican Institute (IRI) as President in August, 2004, following his unanimous selection by IRI's Board of Directors.
He has led the strengthening of IRI's programs in countries such as China, Colombia, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.
Previously, Craner was Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor for Secretary of State Colin Powell. Upon his departure from the State Department, Secretary Powell presented Craner with the Distinguished Service Award, the department's highest honor.
From 1995 to 2001, Craner, as IRI's President, led the institute to new levels of programmatic achievement, fundraising, financial accountability and news coverage. He joined IRI as Vice President for programs in 1993. From 1992-93 he served at the National Security Council as Director of Asian Affairs, and from 1989-92 was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. Craner was Senator John McCain's legislative assistant (LA) for foreign policy from 1986-89; he began his career as then-Congressman Jim Kolbe's foreign policy LA.
In June 2007, Craner was again confirmed by the U.S. Senate, to a seat on the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Board of Directors.
Craner chairs the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion and sits on the Boards of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Internews Network. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has testified on numerous occasions before House and Senate Committees.
Craner received his master's degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and his bachelor's degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
Ambassador Ronald Neumann
Ronald E. Neumann is the current United States Ambassador to Afghanistan and previously served as ambassador to Algeria from 1994 to 1997 and Bahrain from 2001 to 2004.
He is the son of former ambassador Robert G. Neumann and traveled extensively after college in Afghanistan while his father was ambassador there.
Kenneth Wollack is president of NDI. He has been actively involved in foreign affairs, journalism and politics since 1972.
Mr. Wollack joined NDI in 1986 as executive vice president. The Institute's board of directors elected him president in March 1993.
Mr. Wollack has traveled extensively in Eastern and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa on behalf of the Institute's political development programs.
Before joining NDI in 1986, Mr. Wollack co-edited the Middle East Policy Survey, a Washington-based newsletter. He also wrote regularly on foreign affairs for the Los Angeles Times. From 1973 to 1980, he served as legislative director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Mr. Wollack has been active in American politics, serving on the national staff of the McGovern presidential campaign in 1972. He is a graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and has studied abroad at the University of London. Mr. Wollack currently is a member of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid and is the chairman of the board of directors for the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Development Programme.
Lorne Craner discusses how democracy promotion has been conflated with war and regime change thanks to the Iraq war. He lists actual criteria in how NGOs can help assist other countries in becoming more democratic.