President, Freedom House
Berlin Prize Fellow - Class of Spring 2022
Michael J. Abramowitz is president of Freedom House, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting democracy. Its work includes the authoritative Freedom in the World report, a yearly analysis of democratic institutional health in every country across the globe.
Before joining Freedom House, in 2017, Abramowitz was director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. He led the museum’s genocide prevention efforts and, later oversaw its public-education programs through exhibitions, training programs, and digital outreach. Abramowitz was previously national editor and White House correspondent for the Washington Post. He is a member of the Human Freedom Advisory Council at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the Council on Foreign Relations and former Marshall Memorial Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and media fellow at the Hoover Institute. A graduate of Harvard College, Abramowitz is also a board member of the National Security Archive.
Abramowitz speaks on issues including the impact of populist movements on democracies, the challenges faced by democracies with struggling economies, and the tension between freedom and security. He emphasizes that the thirst for human rights and freedom exists around the world in places such as Hong Kong, Sudan, and Taiwan. “It’s very important that the United States speaks out on these issues, because it’s very much in the U.S. national security interest and economic interest to do so,” Abramowitz writes. “We do not want to live in a world in which we are surrounded by people like Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, or Nicolás Maduro. That’s not a world in which Americans will feel safe, or a world in which businesses and the other engines of American prosperity could thrive.”