Lorne Craner, President of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Kenneth Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) answered questions from people all over the world during a live web chat on democracy promotion. Craner and Wollack have co-authored New Directions for Democracy Promotion, which looks at how the U.S. should remain engaged in democracy promotion.
The January 29, 2009, chat was part of the U.S. State Department’s efforts to connect with people around the world in order to gain mutual understanding on a range of important topics. Please click here to read a transcript of the web chat.
Craner returned to IRI as President in August 2004 after serving as Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor for Secretary of State Colin Powell. He previously served as IRI’s President from 1995 to 2001. Under Craner, IRI has broadened its work in areas such as governance, women’s participation – launching the Women’s Democracy Network, access for the disabled, and the use of technology in democracy promotion. Now active in 69 countries, IRI advances freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, good governance and the rule of law.
Since 1993 Wollack has served as President of NDI, a nonpartisan organization that works to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide by promoting citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Working in nearly 80 countries, the Institute brings together individuals and groups to share knowledge, experiences and expertise that can be adapted to the needs of their own countries. Wollack has traveled extensively in Eastern and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa on behalf of NDI programs, which focus on political party development, democratic governance, safeguarding elections, civic participation, empowering women, and democracy and technology.