CIPE’s Iran expert Babak Yektafar discusses the current economic situation in Iran and how the regime controls information and policies to stay in power. Yektafar talks about how the economy has been damaged through mismanagement, Iran’s entrepreneurial youth culture and their hopes for the future, and what the government needs to do to make it easier for Iranians to start and grow businesses. He also discusses the government’s control over the flow of information within the country and explains how an “Expediency Council” works to ensure the regime stays in power.
Former FCPA violator and current anti-bribery consultant Richard Bistrong was convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cooperated with the FBI, and served time in prison. Today he works with companies to help them deal with anti-bribery and compliance issues around the world. He discusses what led to his conviction, what he learned about corruption risks and the incentive structures that make bribery more likely. He also shares the advice he would give his younger self before he embarked on that first international sales trip that started it all.
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Nyaradzo Mashayamombe discusses her work as a women’s and girls’ rights advocate in in Zimbabwe and how the way women are viewed in society is changing in that country. Mashayamombe talks about the hardships she experienced as a child in rural Zimbabwe and how this created her drive to help other girls and women. She also discusses the empowering impact of social media and the current economic situation for women in Zimbabwe.
Former Executive Director of CIPE John D. Sullivan discusses how the private sector and a free market economy are essential for a thriving democracy and the role CIPE plays working with private sector partners to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. Sullivan recalls what led to the establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy and its core institutes, including CIPE, and how it was decided that the private sector needed to be represented in the “democracy program” that began under former President Ronald Reagan. Sullivan also discusses the important relationship CIPE developed with the Russian Chamber of Commerce, and the impact of the work of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto on CIPE’s programs.