The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is honoring former Secretaries of State George P. Shultz and Madeleine K. Albright with the Democracy Service Medal at a June 4 gala dinner in Los Angeles. The medal, which reads "For Service in the Cause of Democracy," was first presented to Polish President Lech Walesa and AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland in 1999. The medals will be presented by NED Chairman Richard A. Gephardt, former Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The awards mark the 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's "Westminster Address," which he delivered to the British Parliament on June 8, 1982. The speech predicted the triumph democracy over Soviet Communism and launched the effort to establish the NED, of which NDI is a core institute.
"Secretary Shultz was there at the creation of the Endowment playing a crucial role in launching America's efforts to assist the spread of democracy abroad," said NED President Carl Gershman. "Madeleine Albright has made enormous contributions to advance this vision as well - both in government as U.N. Ambassador and Secretary of State, and out of government as chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), one of NED's four core grantees. These two outstanding American diplomats embody the bipartisan spirit of the Endowment, reflected in the collaboration of President Reagan in the White House, and Democratic Congressman Dante Fascell on Capitol Hill, who worked together to make the idea of NED a reality."
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Published June 4, 2012