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East European foreign policy adviser to speak on democracy, Russia

Friday, November 21, 2014

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will host Ivan Vejvoda of The German Marshall Fund of the United States in a program titled “East European Democracy & Russian Re-emergence.” The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2. It is free and open to the public.

The fall of the Iron Curtain freed millions of Eastern Europeans from Communist rule nearly 20 years ago, ushering in a period of democracy and economic growth. The re-emergence of Russia as a political power and President Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Crimea may alter that growth.

“The history of Russia’s dominance in Eastern Europe and Asia combined with recent their recent military actions make this subject incredibly timely and fascinating,” said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. “Because of his extensive knowledge and foreign policy experience, we look forward to hearing Mr. Vejvoda discuss how Russia’s actions are currently affecting the region and what the future holds for East European democracy.”

Vejvoda is senior vice president for programs at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. From 2003-2010 he was the executive director of the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund dedicated to strengthening democratic institutions in Southeastern Europe. Vejvoda came to GMF in 2003 from distinguished service in the Serbian government as senior adviser on foreign policy and European integration to prime ministers Zoran Djindjic and Zoran Zivkovic.  Prior to that, he served as executive director of the Belgrade-based Fund for an Open Society from 1998 to 2002. 

Vejvoda held various academic posts in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1990s. During that time, he was also a key figure in the democratic opposition movement in Yugoslavia and co-founded the Democratic Forum in Belgrade and the Belgrade Circle of Independent Intellectuals. He is widely published on the subjects of democracy, democratic transition, totalitarianism and post-war reconstruction in the Balkans.  He is a member of the Serbian Pen Club and is a board member of American social science journals Constellations and Philosophy and Social Criticism. He was awarded the French National Order of Merit in the rank of officer (2006) and the Italian Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity rank of commander (2007).

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) seeks to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on regional, national and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. GMF does this by supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere, by convening leaders and members of the policy and business communities, by contributing research and analysis on transatlantic topics, and by providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed commitment to the transatlantic relationship. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies.

Founded in 1972 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., GMF has offices in Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest and Warsaw. GMF also has smaller representations in Bratislava, Turin and Stockholm.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics.  It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, offers free public programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as interactive opportunities for students of all ages. 

“East European Democracy & Russian Reemergence.” is co-sponsored by KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREES) and the Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Graduate Organization (REESGO) at KU.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics.  It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, offers free public programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as research, gallery visit and other interactive opportunities for students of all ages.

For more information on this or any Dole Institute programs, visit www.doleinstitute.org or call (785) 864-4900. 


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