Productive Disagreement: How to have productive disagreements in an age of incivility and conflict. RSVP

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Does Democracy Still Matter? Exploration of Democracy in a Divided Country and World


From racial injustice protests to divisive electoral politics to a Confederate flag in the Capitol on January 6th and impeachment hearings, our country’s divisions have been on full display. This has challenged many Americans - and those around the world - to relook at democracy and its principles. This discussion will explore what democracy means in a divided country and whether unity is possible in a democratic republic.

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Prof. Nicole Bibbins Sedaca serves as the Deputy Director of Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program. She also serves as the Co-Chair for the Global Politics and Security Concentration and is a Professor in the Practice of International Affairs in MSFS.

Ms. Bibbins Sedaca has held numerous positions in the public and non-governmental sectors in the United States and Ecuador. She served for ten years in the United States Department of State, working on democracy promotion, human rights, human trafficking, religious freedom, refugees, and counterterrorism. During this time, her positions included: the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, the Senior Director for Strategic Planning and External Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and the Special Assistant to the Ambassador-At-Large for Counterterrorism. Following her governmental service, she opened and directed the International Republican Institute’s local governance program in Ecuador. She also taught at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) on democratization and conflict resolution. She also co-led the USFQ Model United Nations team that won several awards in April 2009. Prior to returning to Georgetown full-time, she served as the Director of the Washington Office of Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory group. Ms. Bibbins Sedaca holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from The College of William and Mary, where she was a Presidential and Monroe Scholar. She studied at Humboldt Universitaet in Berlin, Germany, while on a Rotary International Scholarship. In 2015, she was awarded Georgetown’s 1820 Graduate Award for outstanding leadership and service by graduate alumni to the Georgetown alumni community. She has earned three Superior Honor Awards and a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State. While at Georgetown, she received the Dean’s Citation and Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, and also was a Georgetown University Scholarship Recipient, Dorothy Danforth Scholarship Recipient and Edward Weintal Distinguished Scholar. From 2011 - 2019, she served as a board member and then the Chairperson of the Board of the International Justice Mission, a non-governmental organization fighting human trafficking and violence against the poor; she rejoined the board in 2020. She has served as the Chair of the Board of the Institute for Global Engagement, a non-governmental organization promoting religious freedom overseas, and also served on the Board of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, the William and Mary Fund and the William and Mary Washington Office.