NDI will host more than 300 diplomats and political leaders from more than 100 countries in Charlotte, N.C., at this year’s Democratic National Convention. The visitors are part of NDI’s International Leaders Forum (ILF), which the Institute has hosted during every Democratic National Convention since 1984.
NDI’s guests include current and former heads of state, cabinet ministers, members of parliament, political party leaders and more than 100 ambassadors who are members of the Washington-based diplomatic corps.
“This unique program gives leaders from around the world and across the political spectrum the opportunity to see the American democratic process at work first hand,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, chairman of NDI.
“We hope our visitors will gain a better understanding of the U.S. political system and that their experiences in Charlotte will spark meaningful conversations at home about the future of democracy in their own countries.”
In addition to observing the convention proceedings, participants will take part in a series of bipartisan panel discussions covering topics that include the U.S. political process, foreign and domestic policy issues, and media coverage of the presidential race.
Speakers include former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, NDI chairman; former Senator Tom Daschle; Ashley Judd, actor, humanitarian, delegate to the Democratic convention and board member, Population Services International; Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi of MSNBC; John Heilemann, New York magazine; Mark Halperin, TIME; Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post; Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker; Sam Stein, The Huffington Post; Richard Wolffe, MSNBC contributor and author; Jack Lew, White House chief of staff; Tim Roemer, former U.S. ambassador to India and former member of Congress; James Steinberg, former deputy secretary of state; John Podesta, former White House chief of staff; Michèle Flournoy, former U.S. undersecretary of defense; Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman; Frank Fahrenkopf, former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman and co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates; Paul Kirk, co-chairman emeritus of the Commission on Presidential Debates, former U.S. senator and former DNC chairman; Michael Steele, former RNC chairman; pollsters Peter Hart, Stan Greenberg, Andrew Kohut and Whit Ayres; Vin Weber, former U.S. representative; David Drummond, Google; and the mayors of Charlotte, Philadelphia and Houston.
“NDI is proud to once again welcome so many distinguished guests from around the world,” said Kenneth Wollack, president of NDI. “Opportunities like this that foster the exchange of ideas and expertise can help promote more open, accountable governments. ILF reinforces the work that NDI carries out with political parties, parliaments, civic organizations and others around the globe.”
ILF is privately funded by donations from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Published Sept. 3, 2012