ABOUT US

RDI envisions a world where the forces of freedom are united and authoritarianism is in retreat.

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Our mission is to unmask and confront the alliance of dictators threatening freedom around the world. By doing so, we inspire those in the United States and in other free countries to value and protect their own democracies.

As an idea advocacy organization, we align insightful analysis with direct action, unique advocacy networks, and a motivated community to influence national discourse and mobilize key stakeholders. This approach is reflected in our four pillars:

A MESSAGE FROM RDI CHAIRMAN GARRY KASPAROV

As a lifelong chess player, planning the next move is second nature to me. But when it comes to democracy, the year ahead is littered with unknowns. The Free World is at greater risk than at any point since the end of the Cold War. This is what makes RDI’s work indispensable. We have taken the fight directly to dictators and their apologists: on Capitol Hill, with material aid to Ukraine, and in the all-important information space. We are celebrating our wins, but we are not complacent. I invite you to support RDI as the fight for freedom ramps up in the coming months.

We leverage the voices of unique messengers to highlight the threats facing democracy while uniting disparate communities around common principles.

A flagship program of RDI launched in partnership with CNN in 2021, FOF reinforces the importance of democracy by amplifying the voices of those who have risked their lives for it. The FOF network unites over 120 pro-democracy dissidents from more than 40 countries who are uniquely capable of breaking through people’s partisan shields. We share their stories through social media, public events, and RDI’s annual Frontlines of Freedom Conference focused on combating transnational repression.

Taking the fight to autocrats, their apologists, and the disinformation they spread has never been more important, which is why the RDI Content Network exists. We're taking the fight to dictators on social media, on video, and in text. Fully independent, no dollars from despots.

Our work on campus aims to inspire the next generation to value and protect democracy. FOF dissidents have spoken to thousands of students at leading universities. Each January, RDI also hosts an intensive one-week course at Johns Hopkins University featuring dissidents as guest lecturers.

We aim to shift opinion and behavior among targeted groups of thought leaders, decision makers, and other key constituencies on issues critical to RDI’s mission.

When RDI speaks, leaders listen. Our policy reports have made it to the Oval Office and statements from our leadership have been cited by lawmakers on Capitol Hill. We defend our democratic allies abroad and freedom at home. We work pragmatically with partners across the political spectrum in order to most effectively make the case for democracy in terms disparate audiences can relate to. RDI strategically focuses on areas where tyranny and freedom collide and where our voice can have direct impact and offer a unique perspective. This has led us to support our allies in Ukraine, Taiwan, Israel, Hong Kong, South Korea and beyond. We believe that Russia is at the heart of the international consortium of dictators and have therefore been particularly active in our defense of Ukraine. From organizing a delegation of American thought leaders to travel to Kyiv, to bringing together a delegation of British Conservatives led by former Prime Minister Liz Truss to make a Conservative case for Ukraine, we have left no stone unturned in our advocacy efforts.

RDI made the legal and moral case for turning frozen Russian assets into a resource for Ukrainian victory through a groundbreaking report led by noted constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe. Our report was frequently referenced in the media, influenced senior decision makers, and ultimately made it to President Biden’s desk with signatures from eight members of Congress.

We organized a delegation of senior UK Conservative politicians led by former Prime Minister Liz Truss to push Republican legislators for aid to Ukraine in terms Republicans can relate to. 13 of the 22 GOP members of Congress with whom our delegation met ultimately voted for the National Security Supplemental.

When we can add unique value, we offer direct support to those whose freedom is threatened by authoritarianism.

RDI has provided more than $12 million in humanitarian aid since February 2022, focused on keeping Ukraine’s frontline communities, especially Kharkiv, habitable for everyday Ukrainians, including:

MREs (meals ready-to-eat)

sleeping bags

medical supplies and humanitarian aid

Our giving philosophy is to focus on the things Ukraine needs to survive on their own land and repopulate areas liberated from Russia. We think of our giving as “humanitarian HIMARS” – relatively small grants that can have a disproportionate impact on the situation on the ground. Our deep connections in Ukraine have enabled us to cut out middlemen and work directly with affected communities at scale. To give jobs to Ukrainians and develop internal Ukrainian capacity, we also ensure that as much of our aid as possible is produced in-country. Each dollar we donate is targeted for maximum impact in frontline communities, enabling more people to return to their homes or never leave in the first place.

We build communities of thought leaders, students, dissidents, and those who believe in and are committed to the values of democracy and freedom around the world.

RDI’s annual Frontlines of Freedom Conference focuses on combating transnational repression—when dictators seek to silence critics abroad and manipulate foreign publics. We unite pro-democracy activists, journalists, government officials, and business leaders in order to strengthen a broad profreedom network and offer recommendations for resisting foreign authoritarian influence.

Our Heroes of Democracy Gala celebrates remarkable individuals who defended freedom at great personal risk. Past honorees included Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who has been added to a “most wanted” list by Russia; Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, election workers who performed an ordinary public service in extraordinary circumstances; and Paul Rusesabagina, the Hotel Rwanda hero who put his life on the line to save over a thousand people during the 1994 genocide.

RDI hosts events throughout the country and partners with likeminded organizations to bring home the fight for democracy. Want to host an event or have RDI to come to your community? Get in touch with us at giving@rdi.org.

Join us

RDI is building a community of individuals dedicated to renewing democracy in the US and around the globe. Members of our giving circles lay the foundation of our work by investing in RDI’s mission on an annual basis. Each circle enjoys unique benefits ranging from early Access to events to exclusive engagements with Garry Kasparov and other RDI VIPs. For more information on our Giving Circles, email giving@rdi.org.

ANNUAL

GIVING

CIRCLES

RDI Visionaries

$100,000+

Chairman’s Circle

$50,000-$99,999

RDI Ambassadors

$20,000-$49,999

Democracy Defenders

$10,000-$19,999

Freedom Fighters

$5,000-$9,999

Donate today