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Amanda Schnetzer, Director of the Bush Institute's Human Freedom initiative

The Bush Institute's Amanda Schnetzer on Capitol Hill

July 12, 2016 3 minute Read by Ashley McConkey
"The last decade in particular has not been good for freedom."

Earlier today, the Bush Institute's Director of Human Freedom, Amanda Schnetzer, testified before the House Foreign Affairs committee about Human Rights Under Siege Worldwide.  She was invited to testify about the George W. Bush Institute's work to promote freedom, democracy and to "stand with those who still live under tyranny..."  

In her opening remarks, Schnetzer outlined what freedom means at the Bush Institute, noting that "we believe that freedom is a universal human right, and that freedom is essential to lasting peace and prosperity at home and around the world.  The Human Freedom Initiative works to develop leaders in emerging democracies, stand with those who still live under tyranny, and foster U.S. leadership through policy and action..."  

As these and other challengers to liberalism gain adherents, it is in the direct and immediate interest of the United States to support the advance of human rights and freedom abroad.  

Schnetzer continued, "Although substantially more people in the world experience liberty today than at the end of World War II, more than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.  The last decade in particular has not been good for freedom..."  She continued, "As these and other challengers to liberalism gain adherents, it is in the direct and immediate interest of the United States to support the advance of human rights and freedom abroad."

She closed by referencing President Ronald Reagan saying, "In 1982, in his now-famous address to the British Parliament at Westminster, President Ronald Reagan acknowledged that policy makers can disagree on many things but, he said, 'on one point all of us are united—our abhorrence of dictatorship in all its forms.' He then called on leaders in Europe and the United States to 'take actions to assist the campaign for democracy.'"

Schnetzer's testimony can be viewed here and her full statement can be read here.


Author

Ashley McConkey
Ashley McConkey

Ashley McConkey manages communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center and is responsible for message development on behalf of the Economic Growth, Human Freedom and Military Service initiatives.

Before joining the Bush Center, McConkey worked in the communications and public policy arena in Austin, Texas for both non-profit and corporate entities.  She also served as a Budget and Policy Adviser to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. 

McConkey grew up in Greenville, Texas and moved to Austin to study Political Science at St. Edward’s University.  She and her husband reside in Dallas.

Full Bio