The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) at the University of Michigan is pleased to welcome Ambassador Daniel Fried to campus on January 9 to deliver a lecture titled, “The West’s Democratic Challenge: Central Europe’s Variant and What America Can Do.” In this lecture, Fried will discuss the current state of democracy in Central Europe, where the United States had great influence in the post-WWII period and during the Cold War. He will look at the current state of politics in this region—including Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia—and discuss American responsibility and strategies going forward.

In his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As Special Assistant and National Security Council Senior Director for Presidents Clinton and Bush, Ambassador to Poland, and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe (2005-09), Ambassador Fried crafted the policy of NATO enlargement to Central European nations and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations, thus advancing the goal of Europe whole, free, and at peace. During those years, the West’s community of democracy and security grew in Europe. Ambassador Fried helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine starting in 2014: as State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, he crafted U.S. sanctions against Russia and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Having retired from the Foreign Service in April, 2017, Ambassador Fried is currently a Distinguished Fellow with the Atlantic Council.

Daniel Fried will speak on January 9 at 4:00 PM in Room 1010 Weiser Hall, 500 Church Street. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies and the Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, and is free and open to the public.

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) combines academics with practical applications, promoting scholarship to better understand the conditions and policies that foster the transition from autocratic rule to democratic governance, past and present. It also educates new generations of practitioners who can apply their learning and experience to help extend democratic freedoms. Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCED began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit