Martin Frost has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group.
Frost, a prominent Democrat who represented the 24th district of Texas in the House of Representatives for thirteen terms (1979-2005), succeeds Richard A. Gephardt , who served as NED Chairman since January 2009. Gephardt leaves the NED Board after nine years of service, the maximum allowed under NED’s by-laws. First elected to the NED Board in 2009, Frost was unanimously elected by NED’s bipartisan Board of Directors.
Frost served in the House Democratic Leadership during his tenure in Congress, and chaired a special House Task Force from 1990-95 established to help eastern and central European nations transition to democracy after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“Long before he joined the NED Board, Martin Frost demonstrated his commitment to advancing democracy abroad,” said NED President Carl Gershman.
“His leadership in the US Congress of the Frost-Solomon Task Force reflected the same kind of international solidarity and assistance that NED has embodied for the past 30 years,” he said. “His intuitive understanding of NED’s mission combined with his political experience will be of great benefit to the thousands of ‘small-d democrats’ NED assists around the world.”
Thanking the outgoing chairman for his service, Gershman said, “Dick Gephardt ’s leadership has helped to keep the Endowment strong during a time of great political turmoil. He has upheld NED’s strong bipartisan tradition and his example will be of great benefit to our new Chairman. “
The National Endowment for Democracy was created in 1983 as a private, nonprofit, grant-making foundation with a mission to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. With an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress, the NED Board, which is independent and bipartisan, makes more than a thousand grants each year to support prodemocracy groups in nearly 90 countries. The Endowment supports projects that promote political and economic freedom and participation, human rights, a strong civil society, independent media and the rule of law.