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Type: School event

Official Levers for Supporting Democracy

Part of the Seminar Series on Supporting Democracy, organized by the Weiser Diplomacy Center and co-sponsored by the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies for UM's "Democracy and Debate" theme semester


Open to all University of Michigan students.


Kara McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Date & time

Sep 21, 2020, 11:30 am-12:50 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

Please join us for a virtual seminar with Kara McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary at Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in conversation with Associate Professor John Ciorciari, director of the Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center. McDonald will talk abou how official state actors engage in democracy promotion. What levers does the U.S. State Department have to encourage or defend democracy abroad? What are the most useful elements of U.S. “soft power” in this sphere? Who are some of the most important partners? And what are some of the chief limitations or impediments to state-led democracy support efforts?

About the speaker:

2020 Democracy and Debate logo

Kara C. McDonald serves as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor where she oversees the Bureau’s work on Europe, South and Central Asia, and the Multilateral and Global Affairs teams in DRL/MLGA.

She most recently served as U.S. Consul General Strasbourg and Deputy Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe.  From 2015-2017, she was Director of Policy, Planning, and Coordination in the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau.  Prior to that, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Chisinau, Moldova.  Her other assignments include Deputy Special Coordinator for Haiti; Director for United Nations and International Operations at the National Security Council; Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; and the Czech Republic desk.  From 2009-2010, she was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Her overseas assignments also include U.S. Embassies Port-au-Prince and Bucharest.  Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, she was a Presidential Management Fellow in democracy and governance issues at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.  She speaks or has studied French, Romanian, and Russian.

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