The Struggle for Freedom


November 16, 2022

Due to Russia’s strikes in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will not be available.

Freedom is under attack worldwide as many countries contend with democratic backsliding and authoritarian regimes flex their muscles in and beyond their own borders.  This is most visible in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s unjustified decision to invade the country in February. The possibility of an attack by the People’s Republic of China against democratic Taiwan remains a concern as well.

The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty about the global economy, and the fluid political situation in many countries only add to the challenge. These dangers cannot be ignored.

Now is the  moment to reaffirm and expand our commitment to the democratic principles that have enshrined individual, political, and economic rights in free societies. Such principles have fostered relative peace and prosperity previously unknown throughout human history. They also fuel hope for the oppressed.

The George W. Bush Institute is hosting a conference on The Struggle for Freedom in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, November 16 in partnership with Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Activists, experts, and leaders will gather at the Bush Institute to assess threats to freedom and offer recommendations on ways to advance the cause of liberty. Topics to be examined include the global struggle for freedom, pushing back against the authoritarian threat, the impact of emerging technologies, and how the U.S. can help support democracy and human rights abroad.


A Conversation with President George W. Bush


Virtual Remarks by President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan


Conversation One: The Global Struggle for Freedom

  • Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, The Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow, George W. Bush Institute; Executive Vice President, Freedom House
  • Daniel Twining, President, International Republican Institute
  • Damon Wilson, President and CEO, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Moderator: Paula Dobriansky, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, 2001-2009; Senior Fellow, Harvard University

American Attitudes Towards Freedom and Democracy

  • Dritan Nesho, CEO, Harris X

Conversation Two: Pushing Back Against the Authoritarian Threat

  • Natalia Arno, President, Free Russia Foundation 
  • Rodrigo Diamanti, President, Un Mundo Sin Mordaza
  • Evan Mawarire, Zimbabwean Democracy Activist; Director of Education for Renew Democracy Initiative in the U.S.
  • Nury Turkel, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Moderator: Michael Abramowitz, President, Freedom House

Conversation Three: Emerging Technology and the Future of Freedom

  • Scott Carpenter, Managing Director, Jigsaw
  • Samantha Hoffman, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Christopher Walker, Vice President for Studies and Analysis, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Moderator: Jessica Ludwig, Director, Freedom and Democracy, George W. Bush Institute

Conversation Four: How the United States Can Help Support Democracy and Human Rights

  • Alice Albright, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Goli Ameri,  Co-Founder and CEO of Startitup;  Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Under Secretary for Humanitarian Diplomacy at the International Federation of Red Cross
  • Stephen Biegun, Former United States Deputy Secretary of State
  • Charles Davidson, Co-Chair DC Forum, Global Financial Integrity
  • Moderator: Chris Walsh, Deputy Director, Freedom and Democracy, George W. Bush Institute

Conversation Five: Sports and Human Rights

  • Joey Cheek, 2006 Olympic Champion; Founder,
  • Newy Scruggs, Sports Director, NBC 5


Our liberties imbue us with a sacred responsibility to protect freedom and resist authoritarianism. As President Bush has said, “Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen,  and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities.”

Join us in the struggle.

Hosted by

Freedom House Logo.
George W Bush Institute logo.
NNational Endowment for Democracy logo.