ROME, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ben Goddard was presented with the prestigious "Democracy Medal" by the International Association of Political Consultants in Rome, on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has worked courageously to foster, promote and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world.
Goddard is the founder of the premier issue advocacy firm Goddard Gunster. He joins an august group of luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Aung San Suu Kyi, and U.S. presidents Clinton, Carter and Bush.
"I am delighted to honor Ben with the Medal of Democracy," said Ilkka Ahtokivi, president of IAPC. "Ben has been a tireless champion of the democratic process, and has been instrumental in the growth of IAPC while ensuring our organization stays true to its mission of promoting democracy in a non partisan, global way."
The award recognizes Goddard's lifetime of achievement in the United States and across the globe. During his career, Goddard, a former television newsman, helped engineer dozens of important U.S. political campaigns. These included the Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, and Gary Hart presidential campaigns. He early on saw how the techniques used in candidate campaigning could be applied to political issues.
After successfully transitioning from U.S. political campaigns to issue campaigns, Goddard moved smoothly into the global arena. At the invitation of Boris Yeltsin in1993, he helped create the first democratic campaign in Russia's history. In addition to his work in Russia, Goddard Gunster has assisted campaigns in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Afghanistan to name a few. Today, the company he founded has offices in London, Brussels, Cairo, Portland, Oregon as well as its headquarters in Washington D.C.
"I have seen how and what we do can change the way things are done and have a real impact in the world," Goddard stated. "I am honored to be acknowledged for my efforts to promote democracy from around the world."
Goddard's series of the "Harry and Louise" television commercials, credited with bringing about the demise of Clinton's signature healthcare initiative, are included in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute. This issue campaign launched a new genre of political communications known as issue advocacy. The Goddard philosophy of issue advocacy involves taking a holistic approach to campaigning -- combining traditional tools such as lobbying and public relations with opinion research, advertising, coalition building, grassroots and the latest online strategies.
Over the years, Goddard and his firm has tackled hundreds of issues including energy, the environment, stem cell research, and stopping the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Goddard wrote and directed an award-winning HBO Docudrama and a documentary featuring interviews with Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, George Schultz, Colin Powell, and Mikhail Gorbachev for the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Goddard also produced an award-winning feature film.
Today, Goddard's efforts continue with the next generation of democracy advocates. The Goddard Institute of Public Affairs has been established to ensure the science of issue advocacy was understood from a "real world perspective." Case study and issue based, the Institute targets political consultants, government relations and corporate communications staffs, lobbyists and students. The Institute conducts seminars and classes throughout the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico as the democratic process flourishes worldwide.
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SOURCE Goddard Gunster