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Democracy, Love It or Leave It!

Richard W. Soudriette

By George Kalmar

Democracy is the defining political belief system for America and many other nations. But it is, after all, a “belief system” rather than the absolute panacea for all of our social ills. There are those who demonize democracy, and many believe that the “dictatorship of the masses” can be detrimental to the liberties of the few. In the minds of many, democracy may be the best of all possible political governing options. Is it indeed? And if so, how does one prevent its corruption and how does one sustain its values in an increasing polarized and contentious world.

Sustainable Democracies
By Richard W. Soudriette
Founding president of IFES
Sun, Feb 28, 4pm
The JC3
Calle de las Moras 47 (corner of Cinco de Mayo)
Col. Allende/Guadiana
Tickets at the door
For reservations call (415) 185 9191

On February 28 at the Jewish Cultural and Community Center JC3, Richard W. Soudriette, founding president of IFES, a leading democracy promotion NGO that is partnered with the US Department of State, the United Nations, and many international development agencies, will talk about the importance of building sustainable democracies.

Soudriette is the chairman of the SGO Smartmatic International Elections Advisory Council. He serves as an international advisor to AWEB. He is a founding member and adviser to the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO).

From 2009 to 2015 he served as president of the Center for Diplomacy and Democracy in Colorado Springs. From 1988 to 2007 he was the founding president of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Washington, DC. Under his leadership, IFES became one of the premier providers of international democracy assistance. He served as a member of the US Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion from 2006 to 2008. He was a founder of the Global Election Organization Conference (GEO) in 1999 and the ACE Knowledge Network in 1998.

Prior to joining IFES, Mr. Soudriette served as chief of staff for a member of the US Congress and director of the US Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and in Paraguay. The International Centre for Parliamentary Studies and the University of Paris have honored him for his work in elections. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Soudriette is the author of many articles and publications on elections.

He earned a BA degree in political science from the University of Tulsa and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. He lives in San Miguel.

Tickets can be purchased at the door on February 28. Talk starts at 4pm at the JC3

Calle de las Moras 47 (Corner of Cinco de Mayo) Col. Allende/Guadiana. For reservations, email or call (415) 185 9191.

George Kalmar belongs to the programming chair of the Jewish Cultural and Community Center.


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