IFES 2019 Charles T. Manatt Democracy Awards Ceremony Celebrates Albright, Hadley and Wallström

President and CEO Also Announces the Technology for Democracy Fund and New Vision and Mission
Three crystal Democracy Awards
Publication Date: 
4 Oct 2019

News Type:

On September 30, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) held its Charles T. Manatt Democracy Awards in Washington, D.C. IFES honored former United States (U.S.) Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright (D), former U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley (R) and former Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.

Although 2019 marked the 10th annual Democracy Awards, this year’s ceremony was one of firsts.

The evening’s opening reception featured the launch of IFES’ Technology for Democracy Fund (T4D) to research and explore how technology can better serve democracy and elections. Facebook Public Policy Director for Global Elections Katie Harbath detailed her organization’s commitment – as the T4D’s founding contributor – to partnering with IFES to better connect with and support champions for democracy worldwide. In a toast, IFES President and CEO Anthony N. Banbury thanked Facebook, and detailed how the T4D will build cutting-edge capacity to promote the responsible use of technology and information to strengthen democracy and electoral integrity. To learn more, read the T4D terms of reference and IFES’ terms of engagement with technology companies.

“The work of building and sustaining democracies requires persistence and it requires cooperation. Since its founding over 30 years ago, IFES has brought both of these attributes to the fight for freedom.” – Democracy Awardee Madeleine K. Albright

The formal Democracy Awards dinner program began with IFES Board Chairman Ambassador J. Kenneth Blackwell welcoming guests and recognizing IFES’ Board of Directors; donors; members of the diplomatic community; representatives from IFES’ partners in the Consortium for Elections and Political Processes Strengthening, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute; and the Manatt family.

“The Democracy Awards are named for Chuck Manatt,” said Ambassador Blackwell. “Chuck touched the lives of many around the world and is missed dearly. We celebrate his contributions to democracy building and thank his family – Kathy, Michele – for carrying on his tradition.”

Ambassador Blackwell then invited Banbury to the stage, who reflected on his first year at IFES, including an ambitious strategic planning process that assessed challenges and opportunities for both IFES and the democracy building community writ large.

“Thank you to all of you for everything that you are doing to fight for democracy, to fight for the good. We live in a time where it is a fight between good and evil.” – Democracy Awardee Margot Wallström

“The world that we’re forced to work in has changed as much in the last few years as it has since the organization was created in 1987,” said Banbury. “IFES’ work now is more important than its ever been. This is where IFES’ new strategic plan comes into play.”

Banbury then announced – for the first time publicly – IFES’ new vision, mission and four key strategic outcomes. IFES’ new vision is “Democracy for a better future” and its mission is “Together we build democracies that deliver for all.” Learn more about IFES’ new vision and mission and five-year strategic plan.

After delivered remarks and a break for dinner and conversation, the event moved to a talk-show style panel with awardees – a new format and a first in the history of the IFES Democracy Awards. The panel, moderated by Dr. Bruce Jones, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow in the Institution’s Project on International Order and Strategy, highlighted emerging challenges to democracy and credible elections worldwide.

“We need to get in the game… we need to defend our democratic systems at home from external intervention and disruption, and support those seeking to advance the cause of freedom and democracy abroad.” – Democracy Awardee Stephen J. Hadley

The event closed with remarks by IFES Board Co-Chairman Donald R. Sweitzer.

“My deepest thanks to all of you, everyone in this room… your support comes at a critical time in the global democracy movement and we deeply appreciate it,” said Sweitzer. “We’ll continue to work with you to advance citizens’ right to have a say in how they’re governed.”

IFES’ annual celebration of democracy, the Charles T. Manatt Democracy Awards, recognizes the exceptional work of individuals who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to freedom and democracy. IFES presents the awards annually to three individuals – one Republican, one Democrat and one member of the international community – who work tirelessly to ensure citizens around the world have a voice in the way they are governed.

To view a photo gallery from the ceremony, please click here or the photo below.

IFES 2019 Charles T. Manatt Democracy Awards

IFES Senior Global Legal Advisor Katherine Ellena opens the launch of T4D.

To view a recording of the ceremony, watch the video below.

(0:00) Welcome remarks by IFES Board Chairman Ambassador J. Kenneth Blackwell
(5:07) Welcome remarks by IFES President and CEO Anthony N. Banbury
(14:55) Banbury introduces Stephen J. Hadley
(19:16) Acceptance remarks by Hadley
(25:54) Banbury introduces Madeleine K. Albright
(31:59) Acceptance remarks by Albright
(40:07) Banbury introduces Margot Wallström
(45:45) Acceptance remarks by Wallström
(53:02) Brooking Institution's Bruce Jones moderates panel with all three honorees
(1:27:26) Closing remarks by IFES Board Co-Chairman Donald R. Sweitzer