Freedom House Executive Director Receives Romania's National Order For Merit

New York

In a formal ceremony in the Presidential Palace in Bucharest, Freedom House executive director Jim Denton was awarded Romania's National Order For Merit by President Emil Constantinescu, on Monday, September 11, 2000. The award, the highest that the Romanian state can present to a non-head of state, was bestowed upon Denton for his support of Romania's democratic transition during the past ten years.

The award, originally conceived by King Ferdinand I in 1921, pays tribute to acts of extraordinary civic involvement in Romania by foreigners.

The ceremony was attended by about two hundred Romanian and foreign dignitaries, including state ministers and American Ambassador Jim Rosapepe. Many other Romanian government and business leaders, members of the media, and civic and cultural representatives also attended.

In his remarks, President Constantinescu credited Denton's work with Freedom House and the National Forum Foundation for having played an instrumental role in strengthening the country's independent media, as well as governmental and non-governmental institutions.

Two months ago, Denton was also presented a special award for merit from Romania's leading forty media publishers and editors for his efforts to strengthen the commercial viability and professional standards of the country's media. It was the first award of its kind.

Freedom House supports the development of democracy and civil society worldwide. Freedom House is currently headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in New York, Budapest, Bucharest, Kiev, Riga, Belgrade, and Sarajevo. Freedom House's Bucharest office is managed by Cristina Guseth.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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