The Renew Democracy Initiative is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense of democratic freedom and prosperity. Operating as a virtual think tank, RDI champions the values on which the free world was built through white papers, position papers and presentations. We seek to unite both the center-left and center-right by making the case for liberty, democracy and sanity in an age of discord. We have no partisan agenda; we embrace any citizen, of any political persuasion, who values these principles.
Please read the letter from our Founders.
Board of Directors
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the world under-20 champion at 17. He came to international fame at the age of 22 as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. He defended his title five times, including a legendary series of matches against arch-rival Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov broke Bobby Fischer’s rating record in 1990 and his own peak rating record remained unbroken until 2013. His famous matches against the IBM super-computer Deep Blue in 1996-97 were key to bringing artificial intelligence, and chess, into the mainstream.
Richard Hurowitz is an investor and the publisher of The Octavian Report, a newsletter covering finance, foreign policy and culture. His has contributed opinions to numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, and a graduate of Yale and of the Columbia Law School. He previously founded Octavian Advisors, an international investment fund which was sold to TPG and was named one of the top large global hedge funds by Bloomberg.
Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and a Pulitzer-prize winning historian. She is also Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics’s Institute of Global Affairs where she runs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st century propaganda. Formerly a member of the Washington Post editorial board, she has also worked as the Foreign and Deputy Editor of the Spectator magazine in London, as the Political Editor of the Evening Standard, and as a columnist at Slate and at several British newspapers, including the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs. From 1988-1991 she covered the collapse of communism as the Warsaw correspondent of the Economist magazine and the Independent newspaper.
Max Boot is a historian, best-selling author, and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for the Washington Post, and a Global Affairs Analyst for CNN.
Max Boot’s latest book—The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right—will be released in October 2018 by Norton/Liveright. His previous book, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, came out in January 2018 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and praised as an “epic and elegant biography” (Wall Street Journal), “judicious and absorbing” (New York Times), and “a superb scholarly achievement” (Foreign Policy).
Max Boot is also the author of three other widely acclaimed books: The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (2002), War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (2006), and the New York Times best-seller Invisible Armies: The Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present (2013).
Max Boot has advised military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his books have been assigned reading by the military services. Max Boot was a senior foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaigns of John McCain (2008), Mitt Romney (2012) and Marco Rubio (2016). Max Boot has been a columnist for Foreign Policy, a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times, a member of the USA Today board of contributors, and a regular contributor to many other publications including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is the Chairman of Spitzberg Partners LLC, a corporate advisory and investment firm headquartered in New York that provides strategic counsel and investment insights on European and international political, economic, technology, and security matters. Investments are concentrated on promising companies in the tech and digital sector.
Mr. zu Guttenberg served as Minister of Economics and Technology and then as Minister of Defense in the cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. As the youngest Defense Minister in German history, he led the most significant structural reform of the German armed forces since the Bundeswehr’s founding.
Igor Kirman is a partner in the corporate department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general corporate and securities law matters. He has advised public and private companies, as well as private equity funds, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures, cross-border deals, financing transactions, takeover defenses and corporate governance matters. Kirman is a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and has written articles in numerous professional publications on topics relating to mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. He recently published a book, M&A and Private Equity Confidentiality Agreements Line by Line, Aspatore Books, 2008. He was selected to be included in The Deal's “Movers & Shakers” issue in 2006, and was named as one of the “Dealmakers of the Year” by American Lawyer for 2006.
Mark Lasswell is an op-ed editor at the Washington Post. He is the former editorial features editor, overseeing op-eds, at the Wall Street Journal, where he also served as deputy books editor. He was previously an editor at the Daily News and the New York Observer, and was a contributing editor at Spy magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri.
Richard North Patterson
Richard North Patterson graduated in 1968 from Ohio Wesleyan University and has been awarded that school’s Distinguished Achievement Citation and his national fraternity’s Alumni Achievement Award. He is a 1971 graduate of the Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law, and a recipient of that University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Alumni and its President’s Award for Excellence. He has served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio; a trial attorney for the Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco; and was the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate Special Prosecutor. More recently, Mr. Patterson was a partner in the San Francisco office of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, now Bingham-McCutchen. In 1993, he retired from the practice of law to devote himself to writing.