Abrams, Levine, Spellings, and Verveer begin three-year term
For Immediate Release
February 19, 2014
Contact: Jane Riley Jacobsen
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has added four new members to its Board of Directors. Elliott Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations, Marne Levine of Facebook, Margaret Spellings of the George W. Bush Foundation, and Melanne Verveer of Georgetown University were elected at NED’s January 2014 board meeting and have all begun their first three-year term.
“The Endowment is truly fortunate to welcome these new directors to the NED family,” said NED president Carl Gershman. “Our grantees in every region of the world will benefit from their significant experience and expertise in both the public and private sectors and we are deeply grateful for their commitment to NED’s mission of advancing democracy worldwide.”
Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, D.C. He served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser in the administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House as well as democracy, human rights, and international organizations directorates of the NSC. Early in his career, after serving on the staffs of Sen. Henry M. Jackson and Daniel P. Moynihan, Abrams was an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration. From 1996-2001 Abrams was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to 2001 and chairman of the commission in the latter year, and in 2012 was reappointed to membership for another term. He is also a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which directs the activities of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and teaches U.S. foreign policy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Marne Levine is Vice President for Global Public Policy at Facebook and oversees the company's efforts to educate governments and non-governmental organizations on its plans, products and policies to foster understanding and support for innovative technologies like Facebook. She joined Facebook from the Obama Administration, where she served as Chief of Staff at the White House National Economic Council. Previously, Levine helped launch an online peer-to-peer payment platform when she was Director of Product Management for a start up called Revolution Money, which was sold to American Express. She also served as Chief of Staff for Larry Summers when he was President of Harvard University. She began her career at the United States Department of Treasury, where she served in the Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison.
Margaret Spellings is the president of the George W. Bush Foundation. She oversees all aspects of Bush Foundation activities, including leadership of the George W. Bush Institute, management of George W. Bush Presidential Center business operations, and collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration, which operates the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Previously Spellings was president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm that provided strategic guidance to philanthropic and private sector organizations. She also served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Prior to that, Spellings served in a variety of positions in the Bush Administration, including White House Domestic Policy Advisor and Secretary of Education.
Melanne Verveer is the Executive Director of the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first US Ambassador for Global women’s issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into US foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. President Obama also appointed her to serve as the US Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. From 2000-2008, she was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
The National Endowment for Democracy was created in 1983 as a private, nonprofit, grant-making foundation with a mission to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. With an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress, the NED Board, which is independent and bipartisan, makes more than a thousand grants each year to support prodemocracy groups in nearly 90 countries. The Endowment supports projects that promote political and economic freedom and participation, human rights, a strong civil society, independent media and the rule of law.