About the foundation
Who we are
The Alliance of Democracies Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2017 by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO Secretary General and former Prime Minister of Denmark. Our team is based in Brussels, Berlin and Copenhagen and bring expertise from international diplomacy and human rights to election integrity and strategic communications.
Through our innovative programming and our flagship event, The Copenhagen Democracy Summit, we aim to become the world’s leading “megaphone” for the cause of democracy.
Why we fight for democracy
Democracy is fragile and it cannot be taken for granted anywhere in the world.
The need for creative solutions is clear and urgent, yet most of the leading democracies in the world are deeply split over how we move forward. As we can see in the latest Democracy Perception Index 2022 results democracy is in decline around the world, even though 84% of people globally say that it is important to have democracy in their country. However, a growing number are disenchanted with the state of democracy, 41% feeling that there is not enough democracy in their country.
We seek to strengthen the world’s democracies. Our overarching purpose is to revitalize democracies and bring them together in an alliance for peace, prosperity, and the advancement of democracy around the world.
Anja Jung Nielsen
Anja Jung Nielsen is the Personal Assistant to Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Office Manager at the Copenhagen Office. Anja has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 17 years. She has worked mainly at 4- and 5-star hotels in Copenhagen and obtained experience with coordination, event planning, service, and customer care.
Danielle is responsible for driving our programmatic activity, and is the beating heart of our annual Copenhagen Democracy Summit. Danielle’s professional experiences include The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the European Institute of Peace and worked in various hubs including Warsaw, Brussels, DC and Prague. In addition, Danielle is a research fellow focusing on Transatlantic, Central and Eastern European foreign and security relations at the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy.
Jemma is responsible for planning, organizing, and executing communications in relation to the Copenhagen Democracy Summit and our other programs. She has experience working across both strategic communications and program management for non-profit organisations in India, the Netherlands, the UK, and Denmark. Her professional experiences include the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, Copenhagen 2021, and Children in Scotland.
Jonas is responsible for the overall management and fundraising of our work, including the yearly Copenhagen Democracy Summit. He has worked in and with the three power centers of the globe; Washington, Beijing and Brussels, and regularly features in both Danish and International media to offer his perspectives. Jonas has regular column in the Danish newspaper Berlingske.
Katherina Madhuri Nielsen
Katherina is responsible for managing our campaign for democracy initiatives. Recently graduated, her academic background includes research on the encroachment of authoritarian regimes - specifically in Hong Kong, by means of field data, matters of security in the Artic and the work of NATO, including its implications within the political arena.
Maria Fogh Duelund
Maria is responsible for the daily operation of Alliance of Democracies and looks after everything from finance to human resources. She has experience within the fields of general management and leadership, combining 15 years of experience both in the private sector as well as the military. Maria is a trained military interpreter in the Russian and Serbian languages. In 2003/2004, she was deployed to Kosovo as part of NATO’s peace-support operation. Maria is a strong believer in democracy, individual civil liberties, and the rule of law.
Chief Operating Officer
Matej is assisting with the planning of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2023 and working on our Democracy Tech Entrepreneur Fellowship and the Transatlantic Commission for Election Integrity. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Language and International Studies and is finishing his master’s degree in Development and International Relations at Aalborg University. His academic research focuses on Central and Eastern European Politics, authoritarian regimes, opposition politics and sustainable development.
Olaf is responsible for coordinating the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI), focusing on political disinformation, hybrid threats, media literacy and very interested in policy issues at the intersection of tech & democracy. Olaf has worked for many years in the German Bundestag as well as in leading positions in the international think tank community.
Richard is responsible for both fundraising and managing our Democracy Tech Entrepreneur Fellowship. He has a demonstrated history of working with international non-profit organisations, from serving as a fundraising coach with UNICEF Denmark to working in operations at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims.
Tim is responsible for overseeing both Alliance of Democracies and Rasmussen Global strategic communications. He has ten years of experience managing international press and media campaigns, working with leading politicians and international organisations. He has previously worked as Press and Communications Advisor to the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli. Before joining the European Parliament, he worked in press and media at the European Defence Agency and in the private sector.
Previously, Mariam was working at the International Republican Institute (IRI) as a Senior Program Associate, covering Georgia and Armenia programs from DC. Earlier, in 2015-2017, she was managing the Democracy Education Program at the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) Eastern European Neighborhood Office in Tbilisi. Mariam has also completed the Edmund Muskie Program fellowship in the Center for the Future of the Liberal Society at Hudson Institute. Awarded with the Fulbright Scholarship, Mariam Chikhladze graduated from the Bush School of Public Service and Government, Texas A&M University, holding a Master's Degree in Public Policy Analysis. Earlier in 2013, Mariam graduated from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, School of Law, and Politics with a Master's Degree in International Politics and Diplomacy. Her professional interests lay in security affairs, institution building, and democratic development issues.
Election Integrity Fellow
Ora D. Tanner
Ora D. Tanner is a doctoral researcher in Instructional Technology and Educational Measurement at the University of South Florida and a fellow with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. She has an extensive background in the use of technologies such as digital games, online learning, animation, and augmented reality to help learners understand complex concepts in science. Ora will bring her knowledge and skills as an experienced instructional designer and researcher to help improve disinformation literacy and prepare the public in democratic nations for the implications of deepfakes.
Election Integrity Fellow
Frequently Asked Questions
Why were you formed?
The Economist Intelligence Unit shows that just 4.5 percent of the planet lives in a full democracy. Meanwhile, autocrats and dictators have been in the ascendancy, spurred on by a retreat in global American leadership in recent years. The premise of the Alliance of Democracies is to strengthen the spine of the world’s democracies, to encourage greater cooperation between nations who share common values, to counter spoilers and support those who wish to bring more democracy to their countries. As the world enters a period of technological revolution and disruption, we need to ensure tech is being used for benign purposes and that it enhances democratic processes.
What is the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity?
The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI) seeks to fill a critical gap by fostering a global and collective approach to curb the ongoing wave of election interference and raises awareness of public and governments about the risks of interference. Since its launch in 2018, the TCEI has established itself as an important global voice and player on the risks and solutions to combat foreign election meddling. The TCEI brings together more than a dozen eminent persons from backgrounds in politics, media and the private sector chaired by Alliance of Democracies Foundation Chairman, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and former US Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff. The group is working with to develop tools that provide media literacy on disinformation, and to tackle the risk of ‘deep fake’ videos being used for political disinformation. The group has also identified candidates and political parties themselves as the ‘first line’ of defence against election meddling, and has launched a 5-point ‘Pledge for Election Integrity’ for candidates to sign in European elections, US, Canadian, Georgian and the German elections.
How are you funded?
The AoD is a non-profit organisation funded by private sponsors, governments and individuals. In addition, the AoD is also supported by ‘in kind’ donations. See list of current partners and lists of sponsors for each summit.
How do you spend your money?
The Alliance’s funds are spent on a small Secretariat that delivers on the program initiatives, and organises the Copenhagen Democracy Summit. Program initiatives include the Democracy Tech Entrepreneur Fellowship Program which seeks to equip Democracy Tech entrepreneurs from emerging democracies with the know-how of starting and scaling successful, democratically driven ventures, our Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, and additional programming around democracy promotion.
I’d like to support the Alliance of Democracies. How can I get involved?
There are a number of ways to support us, from sharing social media content to making a small donation to the AoD’s work. If you would like to attend the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, please contact [email protected], and join our mailing list to receive our regular update mail ‘Democracy Defender’. Most importantly, the greatest contribution we can all make is to speak up for democracy!
Our logo has been created on the basis of circles, which are used as symbols of alliances. The hexagon is formed when circles are gathered and occur naturally and often in nature, just as we believe that democracy should occur naturally in the world. Visually, the hexagon expresses strength, solidity and action - the core of the conditions for democracy. Democracy is maintained and developed in alliances and is expressed as life among people - the round outer of the logo.