Call for Nominations: 2012 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Jan 17, 2012

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars welcomes nominations for the 2012 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award. The purpose of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award (IRDA) is to bring visibility and international recognition to the ideas, ideals and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. The event expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.

Ion Ratiu (1917-2000) was one of the most outspoken and consistent voices of opposition to Nicolae Ceausescu, whose regime he opposed for years from London as the democratically elected leader of the World Union of Free Romanians. After fifty years in exile he returned to his homeland in 1990 to contest the presidency, became a member of the Romanian Parliament, and later served as both Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies as well as Romania's roving ambassador to NATO.

The Ion Ratiu Democracy Award was established in 2005 as a way to recognize the importance of the work carried out by democracy activists around the world. Since 2006, the Award ceremony is hosted at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Previous awardees include Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain, 2011), Oleg Kozlovsky (Russia, 2010), Adam Michnik (Poland, 2009), Eleonora Cercavschi (Moldova, 2008), Anatoli Mikhailov (Belarus, 2007), Saad Ibrahim (Egypt, 2006), and Sergio Aguayo (Mexico, 2005).

Ideal candidates will be thoughtful practitioners and engaged thinkers, with the primary focus being on civil society leaders who are either established or emerging, though current or former government officials will be considered.

The recipient of the award will be hosted in Washington, D.C., by the Wilson Center for up to one month to allow for broad and in-depth interaction with representatives of Washington’s policy, NGO and academic communities. The awardee will present the results of his/her experience at a workshop at the Wilson Center. The award workshop will take place on November 29, 2012. The Center plans to publish the proceedings.

The awardee will receive a stipend to cover travel, housing and living expenses, as well as local travel and book allowance.

Nominations should be sent via e-mail to ionratiu-award@wilsoncenter.org or via mail to Christian Ostermann, Chair, Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, D.C., 20004, USA. Self-nominations are permitted. All nominations must include a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. Supporting materials, such as press articles highlighting the activity of the nominee, are highly encouraged. In the case of self-nomination, one letter of recommendation is required. The deadline for submission is April 30, 2012.

Nominations will be reviewed by an independent Advisory Board comprised of prominent democracy activists and scholars. The appointment is made by the Center’s president at the recommendation of the Advisory Board. The result will be announced by the Wilson Center in June 2012.

The Award is generously supported by the Ratiu Family Foundation (London), established in 1979 by Ion Ratiu and his wife Elisabeth Ratiu, in partnership with the Ratiu Democracy Center (Turda, Romania, Ion Ratiu’s birthplace). The goals of the Foundation are to further education and research in the culture and history of Romania in particular, and also to stimulate and support civil society in its understanding and application of democracy and democratic principles the world over. Details can be found on www.ratiufamilyfoundation.com and www.ratiudemocracycenter.org

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the living national memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, was established by Congress in 1968 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue of ideas.

For more information, please visit the IRDA website www.wilsoncenter.org/ratiu.

 

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant