Romanien: Cristina Guseth

To improve the world we live in, citizens need to be empowered through education and free access to information.

— Cristina Guseth

Cristina Guseth has been working for human rights and the empowerment of civil society in Romania since 1991. From 1991 to 1997, she worked with the Soros Foundation in Romania in its pioneering work to develop a free press in the country. She helped establish the BBC Radio and TV Journalism School, the only vocational broadcast school in Romania. Cristina Guseth is the director of Freedom House, Romania. In 2004, Freedom House joined the Coalition for a Clean Parliament to inform Romanian citizens and improve accountability of their representatives in Parliament.

Cristina Guseth's family experienced the lack of personal freedom and civic liberties under the communist regime in Romania. Since the political change in 1989, she has taken the opportunity to work in the human rights field, promoting and sustaining democratic values. She has been working to empower Romanian citizens, to raise their awareness about their civic and political rights, and to encourage them to stand up for those rights. As the director of Freedom House, Cristina Guseth recently received an award for the most important contribution to democracy building, dismantling the communist structures, and the rebirth of hope in Romania. It was awarded by the Timisoara Society, the first significant organization representing Romanian civil society. The Romanian Revolution of 1989 started in Timisoara, and marked the fall of the communist regime – one of the most oppressive dictatorships in southeastern Europe. It marked the turning of Romanian society to democratic and European values. The award was given to Freedom House for being part of the Coalition for a Clean Parliament, a project that started in March 2004, an election year in Romania. The purpose of the Coalition project was to prevent election and re-election of candidates with a record of corruption. From 1991 to 1997, Cristina Guseth worked for the Soros Foundation for an Open Society and was responsible for many programs and projects in media, public relations, public administration, and civil society education. One of the most important was the establishment of the BBC Radio and TV Journalism School, the only vocational broadcast school in Romania.

Freedom House