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Name: Gershman, Carl
Current Position: President

Carl Gershman was born in New York City on July 20, 1943. He received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1965, followed by a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1968. Gershman has had a long and varied political career. Prior to assuming the presidency iof the National Endowment for Democracyn 1984, he worked as director of research, co-chairman and then executive director of the Youth Committee for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East between 1969 and 1974; as chairman of the Young People’s Socialist League between 1970 and 1974; and as executive director of Social Democrats, USA, between 1975 and 1980. He then served as a resident scholar at Freedom House from 1980 to 1981, as well as a human-rights representative to the United Nations under U.S. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.

It might seem odd that Gershman, with his nominally socialist roots, is a recent ally of neoconservatives. However, SD-USA, founded by anti-communist hard-liners who broke with the Socialist Party of America, has staked out hawkish, interventionalist positions on foreign policy, and has even voiced opposition to leftist movements in Latin America. Gershman has long advocated for democracy promotion, meshing well with that aspect of the neoconservative agenda.
Recently, he warned in a 2007 Washington Post op-ed that “conditions for advancing democracy in the Middle East are far from promising.”
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