In October 2017, 25 NGO leaders attended the third annual NGO Leadership workshop in Bratislava, Slovakia. This year the National Endowment for Democracy joined as a fourth partner along with the Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia, the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, and the Pontis Foundation. The program was designed to strengthen civil society in new democracies by providing management training to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The cohort represented 13 countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. As in past years, participants represented NGOs that focus on democracy, economic development, environment, youth, and civil society. Global faculty provided expertise on managerial and income-generating capacities, abilities to engage with both general public and government stakeholders, and international networking. Particular focus was put on advancing democratic accountability and rule of law in their countries.
Ronald Weiser, who served as US Ambassador to Slovakia from 2001-04, supported the program through the Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia and played an active role in speaking with participants and providing his insights and encouragement to them.