SMCM Appoints New Director of Center for Study of Democracy

Michael Cain of Leonardtown has been named the acting director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary's College of Maryland.
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md (September 24, 2007)—St. Mary's College of Maryland has selected Michael Cain of Leonardtown, Maryland, to be the acting director of the College's Center for the Study of Democracy. Cain has been a member of the faculty since 1999 and is currently chairman of the political science department.

Maggie O'Brien, president of the College, said, "In the early stages of our planning for the Center, long before the first sponsored lecture or event that marks the Center's activities today, Professor Cain was enthusiastically writing funding proposals that made possible the Center's first five years. He's been the most important secret asset in the mix: in fact, the Center might still be on the drawing board were it not for Professor Cain's early enthusiasm and commitment. I'm particularly delighted that he will bring us much experience from his international work with U.S. Agency for International Development."

Cain received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland. He has taught political science and public policy at the University of Maryland, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Warsaw in Poland. His teaching and research has focused on ways to strengthen democratic participation and civic engagement of citizens.

Cain brings over ten years of domestic and international political experience to this position. For the past two years he helped organize professors in Maryland to serve as election judges in the state. He provided expert testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates on the administration of elections earlier this year.

For over six years Cain served as a senior policy adviser to the U. S. Agency for International Development, providing technical advice to new democracies in Central Europe and Eurasia, including the states of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Kazakhstan. He received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.

During the past five years, Cain has been a frequent contributor to Center events. Since the founding of the Center in 2001, Cain has been deeply involved in securing external funding. He wrote the first external grant award received by the Center in 2002 from the Library of Congress Open World Leadership program. Cain was a principal author for the $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities "We the People" challenge grant received by the Center in 2004. He has also helped develop the new "Democracy Studies" program at the College.

"The Center for the Study of Democracy is an important part of Maryland's political landscape," said Cain. "It has made a real difference in educating people about political issues and their significance in our lives. I intend to continue the Center's broad political engagement of students while encouraging the wider Maryland community to discuss pressing political issues facing our democracy."

This year the Center plans to host talks and forums on Latin American politics and immigration, the Iraq war, terrorism and the media, health care in Maryland and discussions on the form of local government in the state.

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