Min Zin is a Burmese journalist, and a regular contributor to The Foreign Policy’s Transition. He also serves as Burma’s country analyst for several research foundations including Freedom House. He took part in Burma’s democracy movement in 1988 as a high school student activist, and went into hiding in 1989 to avoid arrest by the junta. His underground activist-cum-writer life lasted for nine years until he fled to the Thai-Burma border in August 1997. His writings appear in The Journal of Democracy, The Foreign Policy, The Irrawaddy, The Bangkok Post, Far Eastern Economic Review, Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He is now pursuing a PhD in the political science department at UC Berkeley.
Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he directs the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Diamond also serves as the Peter E. Haas Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant (and previously was co-director) at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. During 2002-3, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. His latest book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008), explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the prospects for future democratic expansion.
At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development and post-conflict democracy building, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, he was named "Teacher of the Year" by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that "transcends political and ideological barriers." At the June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Diamond was honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He was cited, inter alia, for fostering dialogue between Jewish and Muslim students; for "his inspired teaching and commitment to undergraduate education; for the example he sets as a scholar and public intellectual, sharing his passion for democratization, peaceful transitions, and the idea that each of us can contribute to making the world a better place; and for helping make Stanford an ideal place for undergraduates."
During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. Since then, he has lectured and written extensively on U.S. policy in Iraq and the wider challenges of post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction, and was one of the advisors to the Iraq Study Group. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America's postwar engagement in Iraq. He has also participated in several working groups on the Middle East. During 2004-5, was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations' Independent Task Force on United States Policy toward Arab Reform. With Abbas Milani, he coordinates the Hoover Institution Project on Democracy in Iran.