Kathy Boockvar Invited to Ireland to Discuss Global Threats to Democracy with Key Officials

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Athena Strategies President Kathy Boockvar was honored to travel to Ireland in May to discuss global threats to democracy and strategies to combat these challenges, at the invitation of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy. During her time in Ireland, Boockvar was privileged to meet with a remarkable array of dedicated and thoughtful government officials, NGOs, academics, and other experts in elections, security, democracy, and media.   

During her visit, Boockvar was pleased to participate in a panel at the Global Economic Summit 2024 on Globalisation and Threats to Democracy with former U.S. Congressman Joe Crowley and Noelle O Connell, CEO of European Movement Ireland. The panel was moderated by Daniel McDonnell, Editor of The Business Post.    

Boockvar was honored to meet with Irish Senator Macolm Byrne at Leinster House and to observe the examination and debate of amendments in the Seanad Éireann to an important Bill Senator Byrne sponsored to prohibit targeted picketing of private residences to protect officials and others against threats and intimidation. More information on the Bill can be found here.  She also met with dedicated and thoughtful officials from An Coimisiún Toghcháin (The Electoral Commission), Coimisiún na Meán (Ireland’s media commission), the Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs, The Journal, and many others working to strengthen election integrity and security. 

Boockvar also spoke at an excellent and thought-provoking cross-sector convening organized by the Institute of Future Media, Democracy and Society at Dublin City University. The discussion focused on the rise of online mis and disinformation, its systemic risks and impacts, and global initiatives and collaborations aimed at mitigating and preventing these harms.  She also spoke at a Roundtable at European Movement Ireland addressing these global issues and appreciated the opportunity to exchange information on important work being done, including the Task Force on Safe Participation in Political Life, chaired by Nóirín O’Sullivan, Former Garda Commissioner and United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Safety and Security. The Task Force recently released a Report with sobering evidence on the serious impact of the increasing abuse of officials, and the consequential barriers to political participation. Read the full Report here. 

Boockvar’s meetings in Ireland strongly reinforced that global challenges to democracy and election security require collective action and cross-sector collaboration. By sharing strategies and initiatives to mitigate threats and reduce the spread of disinformation, we can develop effective solutions to strengthen secure and accessible democratic participation worldwide. Athena Strategies is committed to fostering these collaborations and advancing the fight against threats to democratic integrity. Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient democratic process for all.