About Us


For more than two decades, the team behind The Democracy Report has engaged Nobel Peace Prize laureates, world-famous artists, and international media for peace building and human rights.


The Community.com, the Democracy Report’s predecessor, began in early 2000, when a Nobel Peace Prize winner, José Ramos-Horta, met a California communications consultant, Mary Wald. They worked together to bring help to East Timor, Ramos-Horta’s small island nation, recently decimated by conflict. Partnering with Peacejam in Colorado, they raised six tons of school supplies to help rebuild the schools, most of which had been burned by militia. 

José Ramos-Horta, currently serving his second term as President of Timor-Leste, is an internationally renowned diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has also served as Foreign Minister, Senior Minister of the Cabinet, and Prime Minister of his nation. He brought an uncanny intelligence and wisdom, born of 24 years working to save the people of his nation from annihilation, and later leading the country as the world’s newest democracy.

Mary Wald brought 14 years of PR and strategic communications experience to the partnership.

The scope of their work expanded after 9/11, when Ramos-Horta and Wald collected the statements of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates in response to the attacks, and posted them on TheCommunity.com. 17 living Nobel laureates, including Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of the USS Mikhail Gorbachev, former President Jimmy Carter, and others sent in their statements. When AP ran a story on the site, it went around the world. The site was selected the Number Two site of the year in USA Today’s top ten sites. It was selected for inclusion in the United States Library of Congress archive on 9/11.

Bonnie Abaunza, Larissa Peltola, Michael Collopy and Jesse Kornbluth were the first and earliest supporters of the site’s activities. There is little the site accomplished that could have been done without them.

Mary Wald and the Dalai Lama at a video taping for The Community's campaign for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and President of Timor-Leste, at a refugee camp in Syria.


Mary Wald first met South African anti-Apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2001 at the centennial celebration of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The Archbishop joined as the site’s Human Rights Advisor, and worked with the group for more than 14 years before his passing.  An active participant in the group he was in regular weekly email contact, led press for the site’s actions, and frequently met with members of the group, providing guidance and humor.

In 2003 Wald was asked to help on the international public relations for the Annual Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome. The Summit was co-produced by former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev and Walter Veltroni, then Mayor of Rome. Between 2003 and 2007, she arranged for artists including Yusuf Islan (Cat Stevens), Peter Gabriel, George Clooney, Don Cheadle, and others to attend the Summit, and ran the first international media outreach for the event (resulting in up to more than 6000 articles in one hour after one event). Through the Summit she met many of the other Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who would lend their powerful voices to the site’s actions.

Mary Wald and the Dalai Lama at a video taping for The Community's campaign for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and The Community founder Mary Wald at a taped interview for The Community’s human rights campaign.

Today 24 Nobel Peace Prize laureates have participated in projects initiated by this team. The small but high-powered group became known in human rights and peace building circles for its ability to launch effective online actions with global leaders, to place the issues in the international spotlight, and to rally the international media.

Some of the world’s most recognizable artists including Paul McCartney, Robert De Niro, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, Christie Turlington, Richard Gere, Ron Howard and others have aligned themselves to the causes of the Nobel laureates on The Community. Bono, Michael Douglas, and Paul Simon each shot episodes for the site’s upcoming series, What’s so hard about Peace?

The content has been covered by the Associated Press, the New York Times, LA Times, People.com, CNN, Washington Post, USA Today, Malaysia New Straits Times, Hong Kong Morning Post, ABC Evening News, Entertainment Tonight, and other media around the world.

Notables including Kathy Calvin, President of the UN Foundation, and Martha Nelson, former Editor of People Magazine and Editor in Chief of Time, Inc. have supported and served in advisory roles.

Sir Paul McCartney and Mary Wald at a taping for The Community.com’s campaign for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


As the 21st century has progressed, in the world of peace and war, the goalposts have changed. By 2016, as a fissure developed between the “left” and “right” in the United States, democratic institutions and processes have come under increasing threat of  unraveling. The threat that has continued to grow. Where democracy building and inclusion have been integral parts of recovery from World War II, and the prevention of another World War, these underpinnings of peace and prosperity have been under attack, both from within the United States and Europe, and from without. The rising acceptance of autocracy has again brought the dark clouds of war to the horizon.

Today we are facing “conflict creation” on a scale not seen in nearly 100 years. The battles are not being played out today in battlefields. They are being played out on the information channels, and on social media. But they are leading to the instigation of violence and conflict.

We hope to use our experience, our community, and our access to some of the most powerful voices of democracy, to help clarify the truth from the noise, and in the process, to perhaps help bring the way forward into focus.

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