Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

The Ion Ratiu Democracy Award aims to bring international recognition to the ideas and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. Whether they are in exile from repressive regimes or operating within emerging democracies, recipients of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award are democracy advocates with the type of life-changing experience in Washington that Ion Ratiu encountered as a young Romanian democracy activist in the 1970s and 1980s. The Award provides a month-long scholarship at the Wilson Center during which awardees have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the scholarly, policymaking, and NGO communities in Washington, D.C. The award workshop is supported by the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, established in 1979. The Foundation aims to further education and research in Romanian culture and history, and to stimulate and support civil society in its understanding and application of democracy and democratic principles worldwide.

Angela Kocze to Receive the 2013 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Oct 21, 2013
Angela Kocze, a leading Hungarian Roma rights activist and scholar, is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor with the Department of Sociology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, as well as a Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Aung San Suu Kyi to be Honored with 2012 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Dec 17, 2012
WASHINGTON —Aung San Suu Kyi will receive the 2012 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, Jane Harman, president and director of the Wilson Center, announced today. Suu Kyi, will be honored with the prestigious award at a symposium in Yangon, co-hosted by the Wilson Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative on January 15-16, 2013.
Rangita de Silva de Alwis presents award to Aung San Suu Kyi

GWLI Presents Award to Burmese Leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Jan 25, 2013
On January 16th, the Wilson Center's Global Women's Leadership Initiative (GWLI) presented the prestigious 2012 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award to Aung San Suu Kyi at her private residence in Nay Pyi Daw, Burma.

Nabeel Rajab's Arrest Featured in Newsletter of the World Movement for Democracy

May 09, 2012
The recent arrest of Nabeel Rajab, Bahraini human rights activist and recipient of the 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, has drawn world-wide media attention. Human rights organizations have issued statements in support of releasing the activist, as media networks reported on the arrest.

Educating for Democracy: The Case of the European Humanities University

Apr 11, 2012
This luncheon program will convey the continuing impact of the European Humanities University (EHU) through exchanges with current EHU students and remarks from the university’s founding rector, Anatoli Mikhailov and Eurasia Foundation President, Horton Beebe-Center. The students, a live example of civic education in action, will help to focus the session on the challenges and rewards of educating a rising generation, especially in a state with an authoritarian government.

Authorities Detain Nabeel Rajab at Cairo International Airport

Apr 11, 2012
2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner Nabeel Rajab was told by security personnel at the Cairo International Airport that he is banned from entering Egypt.

Nabeel Rajab awarded the Advocacy Award from Index on Censorship

Apr 02, 2012
Former Wilson Center Public Policy Ion Ratiu Scholar Nabeel Rajab wins the Advocacy Award from Index on Censorship

Statement on Nabeel Rajab by Jane Harman, Director, CEO & President, The Woodrow Wilson Center

Jan 10, 2012
In response to the escalating tensions in the Bahraini capital Manama, and following the State Department's statement of concern regarding the violence in the city, Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman issued the following statement.

The U.S. Department of State issues a statement regarding the recent violence in Bahrain

Jan 10, 2012
The State Department issued a statement on behalf of Nabeel Rajab, 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award recipient and leading Bahraini human rights activist who was beaten by government forces in the capital of Manama last week.

The Price of Freedom and Democracy: Bahrain and the Arab Spring

Dec 14, 2011
Nabeel Rajab, winner of the 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award; Indrei Ratiu, director of the Ratiu Democracy Center

2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Awardee Nabeel Rajab is featured in Foreign Policy

Dec 07, 2011
Rajab sat down on Dec. 4 for an exclusive interview with The Cable. His main message was that the Obama administration's defense of the Bahraini government, including a new push to sell it more weapons, is sowing seeds of distrust and resentment of the United States among the Bahraini people. He urged the Obama administration to use its influence in Bahrain to press the regime for improvements on human rights.

Nabeel Rajab, 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award recipient is featured on NPR

Dec 02, 2011
Rajab, a leading Bahraini human rights activist, was among those targeted by the government and discusses his encounters with the Bahraini government forces during the uprising this spring on NPR.

The Price of Freedom and Democracy: Defiant Bahrainis and the Arab Spring

Nov 01, 2011
Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights receives the 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award.

Bahraini Human Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab to Receive 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Jul 29, 2011
Nabeel Rajab, a leading human rights activist and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, will receive the 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, presented annually by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

New Tools in the Struggle for Democracy

Jul 08, 2011
Oleg Kozlovsky, a Russian democracy and human rights activist. Kozlovsky is cofounder of the Solidarnost United Democratic Movement. Christian Ostermann is the director of numerous programs at the Wilson Center including the History and Public Policy and European programs.

Democracy: Belarus and the Accidental Activist

Jul 08, 2011
Anatoli Mikhailov, rector of the European Humanities University and recipient of the 2007 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture award

Off-site Event: The World Youth Democracy Forum for D.C.-Area Students

Jul 07, 2011
The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University and the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award at the Woodrow Wilson Center co-hosted the 2010 World Youth Democracy Forum for DC-Area Students. The Forum featured the 2010 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner, Oleg Kozlovsky of Russia.

The Sixth Annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Jul 07, 2011
Oleg Kozlovsky, a political activist and co-founder of Solidarnost, United Democratic Movement in Russia, received the 2010 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award on Thursday on 2 December at the Woodrow Wilson Center, as part of a two-panel workshop featuring a round-table discussion After the "Reset:" U.S. and European Approaches to Russia and a keynote address Democracy: New Tools for the Struggle.

Democracy and Freedom as Fundamental Human Rights

Jul 07, 2011
Mrs. Eleonora Cercavschi, a human rights activist and the 2008 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, spoke on Democracy and Freedom as Fundamental Human Rights. The Honorable Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, and Samuel Donaldson, Chairman of the Wilson Council, and provided introductory remarks.

Democracy as a Challenge - The 2007 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture, with Anatoli Mikhailov

Jul 07, 2011
On November 15, 2007, the Woodrow Wilson Center co-hosted the third annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture in collaboration with the Ratiu Family Foundation and the Ratiu Democracy Center. The recipient of this year's award, Dr. Anatoli Mikhailov, Rector of the European Humanities University, currently in exile in Vilnius, Lithuania delivered a speech on Democracy as a Challenge. An introduction by former ambassador to Belarus, David Swartz, preceded Professor Mikhailov's address.

The 2006 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture: Are There Democracy Lessons Arabs Can Learn From Eastern Europe?

Jul 07, 2011
Dr. Saad Ibrahim, professor at the American University in Cairo and the recipient of the 2006 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award delivered the 2nd annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture key-note address: Are There Democracy Lessons Arabs Can Learn From Eastern Europe? Introductory remarks were provided by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed.

2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Recipient Eleonora Cercavschi Honored with the Highest Moldovan Distinction - Order of the Republic

Aug 31, 2010
Mrs. Eleonora Cercavschi, recipient of the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award, was honored with the Order of the Republic (Ordinul Republicii) - the highest Moldovan distinction presented by the country's President.

The 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Democracy: Traps and Question Marks by Adam Michnik Featured in International Media

Jan 22, 2010
Adam Michnik, Editor-in-Chief of Poland's daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and recipient of the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, was featured in a number of distinguished press publications. Michnik's speech Democracy: Traps and Question Marks marked the 5th annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture, which took place at the Wilson Center on December 3, 2009. His address was preceded by a brief introduction by The Honorable Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Carter.

IRDL Awardee Adam Michnik Featured by Foreign Policy Magazine

Dec 04, 2009
Comments made by 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik during a Wilson Center-hosted media briefing were featured in Foreign Policy magazine's Passport blog.

2009 Elliott School Youth Democracy Forum with Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik

Nov 25, 2009
The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University and the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award at the Woodrow Wilson Center co-hosted the 2009 World Youth Democracy Forum for DC-Area Students. The Forum featured 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik.

The Fifth Annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture

Nov 12, 2009
Adam Michnik, a political activist and retired member of Poland's first democratic parliament, was presented the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award on December 3 at the Woodrow Wilson Center. At the event, Michnik delivered year's Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture: Democracy: Traps and Question Marks.

Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik Published in The Guardian

Nov 09, 2009
Adam Michnik, recipient of the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza published an essay in The Guardian on the role of Poland's Solidarity movement in the events of 1989.

Adam Michnik, 2009 IRDL Awardee, Published in Der Spiegel

Oct 23, 2009
Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest daily, and recipient of the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award, recently published an article in Der Spiegel, entitled "Will Year of Miracles be Squandered?"

2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik published by IP Global

Oct 23, 2009
2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik recently published an essay for IP Global entitled "Annus Mirabilis," which deals with the events of 1989 and the development of democracy in Eastern Europe over the past twenty years.

Adam Michnik to Receive 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Jul 24, 2009
The Woodrow Wilson Center, the Ratiu Democracy Center, and the Ratiu Charitable Foundation are pleased to announce that Adam Michnik is the 2009 Recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award. The award will be presented at the Woodrow Wilson Center on December 3 during the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture.

Iuliu Maniu Foundation to Honor 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award Recipient Eleonora Cercavschi

Mar 09, 2009
Eleonora Cercavschi, recipient of the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award was honored by the Iuliu Maniu Foundation for her work defending children's right to be educated in their own language.

Eleonora Cercavschi, 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee, Featured by America.gov

Dec 10, 2008
Eleonora Cercavschi, recipient of the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award, was featured in an article on America.gov, published by the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs.

Education is at the Heart of Ratiu Lecture

Dec 05, 2008
This month, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts the fourth annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture. Previous awardees include Saad Eddin Ibrahim, an Egyptian democracy activist, and Belarusian democracy activist Anatoli Mikhailov, president of the European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Ion Ratiu Lecture Celebrates Democracy

Dec 03, 2008
On December 4, Moldovan human rights activist Eleonora Cercavschi, a high school principal in the volatile Transnistria region, will deliver the fourth annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture. She will discuss the right of children in Moldova to a quality education and to be educated in their native Romanian tongue.

Eleonora Cercavschi to Receive 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

Aug 01, 2008
The Woodrow Wilson Center, the Ratiu Center for Democracy, and the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, are pleased to announce that Eleonora Cercavschi is the 2008 Recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award. Mrs. Cercavschi is the principal of Stefan the Great High School (Stefan Cel Mare Si Sfint Lyceum) in Grigoriopol, Moldova. The award will be presented at the Woodrow Wilson Center on December 4, 2008, during the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture.

Professor Anatoli Mikhailov Accepts the 2007 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award

Nov 07, 2007
On November 15, Professor Anatoli Mikhailov, one of the leading personalities fighting for democracy in Belarus, will be awarded the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award at the Wilson Center. His lecture is entitled, "Democracy as a Challenge". This event is open to the public.

Anatoli Mikhailov is named the 2007 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee

Sep 30, 2007
The Ion Ratiu Lecture is pleased to announce that the 2007 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture and Award is Professor Anatoli Mikhailov. Professor Mikhailov is one of the leading personalities fighting for democracy in Belarus.

The Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center

Nov 30, 2006
The Ion Ratiu Lecture is pleased to announce that the 2007 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture and Award is Professor Anatoli Mikhailov. Professor Mikhailov is one of the leading personalities fighting for democracy in Belarus.

The 2006 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture: Are There Democracy Lessons Arabs Can Learn From Eastern Europe?

Jul 07, 2011
Dr. Saad Ibrahim, professor at the American University in Cairo and the recipient of the 2006 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award delivered the 2nd annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture key-note address: Are There Democracy Lessons Arabs Can Learn From Eastern Europe? Introductory remarks were provided by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed.

Upcoming Events

Art Exhibit: "From War to Victory: Poland 1939-1989"

October 01, 2014 // 4:00pmOctober 10, 2014 // 5:00pm

ISIS and the End of the Middle East as We Know It

October 09, 2014 // 12:30pm2:00pm

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant