Twitter Chair Jack Dorsey and UN Representative Samantha Power to Speak at NDI 30th Anniversary Democracy Dinner Honoring Civic Innovators

Monday, November 25, 2013

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WASHINGTON–Jack Dorsey, chairman and co-founder of Twitter, and Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, will be among the speakers at the National Democratic Institute’s Democracy Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Washington, DC, which marks the Institute’s 30th anniversary.

The event will also recognize a group of government officials, political leaders, entrepreneurs and civic activists from around the world who are at the forefront of efforts to use technology to expand opportunities for citizen participation and to make governments more transparent and accountable.

Each of them will receive NDI’s Democracy Award, which honors individuals and organizations that have exhibited a sustained commitment to democracy and human rights, and have demonstrated leadership, integrity and courage in their dedication to democratic values and practices.

The honorees include Dorsey; Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia; Belabbés Benkredda, founder of the Munathara Initiative, a Tunisia-based debating forum; January Makamba, deputy minister of communication, science and technology in Tanzania; Jennifer Pahlka, deputy chief technology officer of the United States and founder of Code For America; Swati Ramanathan, co-founder of Janaagraha, an Indian nonprofit that crowdsources corruption reports from citizens; Jorge Soto, Mexico’s director of civic innovation; and Roya Mahboob, an Afghan software entrepreneur and women’s empowerment activist.

“The contributions of this group of individuals, as well as other civic innovators around the world, to promote citizen participation and government transparency and accountability are immeasurable,” said Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state and NDI chairman. “Innovation is an integral part of supporting both established and nascent democracies, especially as technology continues to shape and deepen the relationship between governments and their citizens.”

During the dinner, a number of the honorees will take part in a panel discussion moderated by Katty Kay of BBC World News America, who will serve as master of ceremonies.

Other civic innovators to be honored are María Baron, executive director of La Fundación Directorio Legislativo of Argentina; Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas and Ginny Hunt, strategy principal for Google’s Civics Team in the U.S.; Vukosava Crnjanski Sabovic, founder and director of the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability in Serbia; Gregor Hackmack, co-founder of Parliament Watch in Germany; Ellen Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation in the U.S.; Beth Noveck, founder of the Governance Lab in the U.S.; Rufus Pollock, founder and CEO of the global Open Knowledge Foundation; Tom Steinberg, founder and director of mySociety in the U.K.; Oras Tynkkynen, vice chair of the Parliament of Finland's Committee for the Future; Rakesh Rajani, lead civil society chair and Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, lead government chair for the global Open Government Partnership; and The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS).

At the dinner, NDI will also announce the creation of the Tom Daschle Leadership Initiative, which will aid NDI’s work with political leaders at all levels of government who value excellence and who are committed to improving the lives of the citizens they serve. Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader, is a vice chair of the NDI Board of Directors.

The event will stream live at Follow the conversation at #ndi30

WHAT: NDI’s 2013 Democracy Dinner

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St., NW

Washington, D.C.


  • Jack Dorsey, chairman and co-founder of Twitter
  • Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations
  • Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and NDI chairman
  • Tom Daschle, former Senate Democratic leader and NDI vice chair
  • The Honorable Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia
  • Panelists
    • Belabbès Benkredda, founder of the Munathara Initiative, Tunisia
    • The Honorable January Makamba, deputy minister of Communication, Science and Technology, Tanzania
    • Jennifer Pahlka, deputy chief technology officer of the U.S. and founder of Code for America
    • Swati Ramanathan, co-founder of Janaagraha, India
    • Jorge Soto, director of civic innovation, Mexico

The National Democratic Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. ###

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