Freedom House mourns the passing of James S. Denton, who died this week in Washington, D.C. Denton served as Freedom House executive director from 1997-2001.  He also presided over the 1997 merger of the National Forum Foundation (NFF), which he founded in 1984, and Freedom House.  

Denton was a tireless champion for human freedom and democracy.  He had a special commitment to the political transformation of the post-Communist countries of Europe.  He worked closely with the democratic opposition in Serbia during the period that led to the overthrow of strongman Slobodan Milosevic.  He also played a major role in the establishment of a network of think tanks dedicated to the strengthening of democracy in post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe.  He was formally honored for his contribution to democracy in the region by the governments of Poland, Estonia, Romania, and the Czech Republic.  

More recently, Denton was publisher of World Affairs Journal and the online editor of World Affairs Daily. Both publications focused much of their attention on the efforts to consolidate democratic government in societies that had embraced freedom in the latter part of the 20th century and on the rise of authoritarian powers like Russia and China.  

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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