Our Mission

The Karsh Institute of Democracy will take full advantage of UVA’s position as one of the nation’s top public universities and its unique historical link to the nation’s founding to serve as a nonpartisan catalyst for action. It will foster participation and civil debate on issues of national importance, support and amplify the study and discussion of the underpinnings of democracy, and engage in public outreach for practical impact and action with students, citizens, policymakers and other leaders.

The Karsh Institute will accelerate collaboration among and augment the work of several schools and centers already dedicated to the study of democracy at UVA, including UVA’s Center for Politics, the Democracy Initiative in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy, the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service and the teaching and research of many faculty members across Grounds.


  • September 23, 2021 - UVA Board of Visitors - Buildings and Grounds Committee - Karsh Institute building concept
  • June 4, 2021 - Led by Karsh Family Gift, UVA Plans $100 Million for Institute of Democracy - UVA Today