WASHINGTON – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is welcoming nominations for the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award.

The candidates can be nominated by academic, public and private institutions, nongovernmental organizations, the media and the general public. The award ceremony will take place in late November or early December, and the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award will be presented by the Board of the Ratiu Family Foundation to the individual selected for their outstanding contributions to democracy.

The purpose of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture (IRDL) is to bring visibility and international recognition to the ideas, ideals and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. The event expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.

The Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award was established in 2005 as a way to recognize the importance of the work carried out by grass roots democracy activists around the world. Since 2006, the Award ceremony is hosted at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

The ideal candidate is a thoughtful practitioner and an engaged thinker. The Foundation expects the primary focus to be on civil society leaders who are either established or emerging, though current or former government officials would also be considered.

Nominations are open to the public can be made via e-mail at ionratiu-lecture@wilsoncenter.org or via mail to the History and Public Policy Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004. Nominations must include a 1-2 page letter of introduction of the nominee, as well as a resume. A collection of press articles highlighting the activity of the nominee is highly encouraged. The deadline for submission is April 30, 2008.

Previous awardees include Anatoli Mikhailov (Belarus) in 2007, Saad Ibrahim (Egypt) in 2006, and Sergio Aguayo (Mexico) in 2005. The board of the IRDL is formed by former Ratiu Award recipients, as well as representatives from the Ratiu Family Foundation, the Ion Ratiu Democracy Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Center. The selection of candidates is made from a pool of qualified individuals whose accomplishments in promoting, defending and supporting democracy have made them internationally acknowledged and respected.

For more information, please visit the IRDL website www.wilsoncenter.org/ratiu

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the living national memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, was established by Congress in 1968 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue of ideas.