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The Business of Freedom: How Markets Can Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism

Saturday, November 12, 7:00pm

Join us for The Business of Freedom: How Markets Can Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism, an intimate discussion between General Joseph Votel, USA (Ret.) and Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House, on the economic consequences of global democratic decline and how the business community can push back against authoritarianism, support human rights, and help build a more secure and prosperous world.  This conversation will be facilitated by Vermont Lieutenant Governor, Molly Gray.

This live discussion will also be available via livestream. 

About our guests:

General Joseph Votel (Ret.) is president and CEO of Business Executives for National Security and a member of the Freedom House Board of Trustees. General Votel is a retired U.S. Army Four-Star officer and most recently the Commander of the U.S. Central Command – responsible for U.S. and coalition military operations in the Middle East, Levant and Central and South Asia. Preceding his assignment at CENTCOM he served as the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Joint Special Operations Command.

08.04.2022, Berlin – Deutschland. Michael j. Abramowitz, Präsident des Freedom House.

Michael Abramowitz is president of Freedom House, the longest-operating prodemocracy and human-rights organization in the United States. Previously, he served as director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education, and he is the former national editor and White House correspondent for The Washington Post.

Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray is Vermont’s 82nd Lieutenant Governor. Molly was born and raised on a vegetable and dairy farm in Newbury, Vermont, still operated by her family today. Following her graduation from the University of Vermont, where she competed as a D1 cross-country skier, she moved to Washington to serve as a Congressional aide to Representative Peter Welch. She later attended Vermont Law School and served as a law clerk to Vermont’s judge to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable Peter W. Hall. Molly went on to support the U.S. Government and international partners in launching the International Code of Conduct Association, working to launch the Association’s human rights monitoring program and lead human rights monitoring missions in East Africa, Nigeria and Iraq. Most recently, she served Vermont as an Assistant Attorney General. Molly is the fourth woman in Vermont’s history to serve as Lieutenant Governor.


Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free. We inform the world about threats to freedom, mobilize global action, and support democracy’s defenders.

Special thanks to our Freedom House event sponsors: 

Deborah and Ron Feinstein 

and to our lodging sponsor:


This programming is made possible thanks to our generous 2022-23 Season Sponsors:

Joy and Tom Cronin Edward Jones / Caren Merson

Deborah and Ron Feinstein 

The Merson Family Neil Stempel & Family
The Stires-Stark Family Foundation