In an announcement released on October 7, the Norwegian Nobel Committee named three parties as joint recipients of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize medal: human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organization Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.
The recognition of the Center for Civil Liberties and Memorial is particularly meaningful for the community of fellows at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), who share a personal connection to the leadership of both organizations.
Oleksandra Matviichuk, a 2018 graduate of the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders program, is head of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine. Anna Dobrovolskaya and Tonya Lokshina, who graduated from the Draper Hills Summer Fellow program in 2019 and 2005, led Russia-based Memorial before it was forced to close by the Russian government in December 2021.
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where CDDRL is based, has a long history of supporting democracy and civil society activists through its selective leadership development programs. Since 2005, CDDRL has trained and educated more than 225 Ukrainians through the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, which has transitioned to become the Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development (SU-DD) Program; the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program; and the Leadership Academy for Development (LAD). The Draper Hills Summer Fellows program trains global leaders working on the front lines of democratic change, including 25 from Russia.
"We are all so excited by this morning’s news that organizations headed by three alumnae of CDDRL’s practitioner-based training programs have received the Nobel Peace Prize,” shared Kathryn Stoner, Mosbacher Director of CDDRL. “This recognition is very well-deserved. Both the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine and Memorial in Russia are on the front lines of the battle to protect human rights and liberties, and their work and bravery should be acknowledged and rewarded. We are proud to have supported some of their work here at CDDRL."
According to the Nobel Committee announcement, the recipients “represent civil society in their home countries. They have for many years promoted the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy.”
Oleksandra Matviichuk, the head of Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties board, was a visiting scholar in the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program from 2017-2018. The activities of the Center for Civil Liberties are aimed at protecting human rights and building democracy in Ukraine and the region encompassed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The work of the Center for Civil Liberties is currently focused on documenting alleged war crimes by the Russian military.
Anna Dobrovolskaya and Tonya Lokshina participated in the Draper Hills program in 2019 and 2005, respectively. Both had leadership roles at the Memorial Human Rights Center. The center was the largest human rights NGO in Russia before being disbanded, working to provide legal aid and consultation for refugees and asylum seekers, monitoring human rights violations in post-conflict zones, and advocating for a human-rights based approach in fighting terrorism.
The Draper Hills program is a three-week intensive academic training program that is hosted annually at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The program brings together a group of 25 to 30 non-academic mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from all regions of the world. Fellows participate in academic seminars led by Stanford faculty that expose them to the theory and practice of democracy, development, and the rule of law.
“I am thrilled for our former fellows!” said FSI Director Michael McFaul. “We at FSI and CDDRL have admired their courageous work in the fight for truth and justice for a long time. It's nice to see that the rest of the world now knows about them too.”