Elections to Watch in 2018
What’s Going on at IFES?
The president and CEO of IFES, William “Bill” Sweeney, announced his decision to step down from his current role by December 31, 2018. He has been IFES’ top executive since June 2009 and shepherded a number of significant changes to the organization, making IFES a more competitive and dynamic contributor to the democracy building movement. A bipartisan Board panel, comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats and led by former U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Peter McPherson, will oversee the recruitment process for Sweeney’s successor.
In 2011, IFES established the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) across Southeast Asia. A creative partnership between disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) and election-focused civil society organizations, AGENDA serves as a forum to improve access to political and electoral opportunities for persons with disabilities by increasing public awareness and elevating advocacy efforts that call for change.
As a global leader in democracy promotion, IFES recognizes the importance of cultivating the next generation of leaders and voters. In the spirit of cultivating this leadership more locally, IFES staff returned to Turner Elementary School, a public school located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on November 17 and December 8, 2017, to meet with fifth-grade students. They were part of a series of seminars on elections, in advance of the school’s first student-run election for class offices, which took place on Thursday, December 14.
IFES@30: 30 Years Advancing Good Governance and Democratic Rights
Through the Women Against Violence in Elections (WAVE) program, IFES is committed to empowering Bangladeshi women to end cycles of violence and become agents for change in peaceful elections. In her work as a business leader, and founder and president of the Bangladesh Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Selima Ahmed promotes equal opportunities for women. In this video interview, Ahmed describes her work with IFES’ WAVE program and encourages her fellow business leaders to promote positive change in Bangladesh.
In this Q&A, General Director Dr. Vladimir Paniotto of the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) – an organization IFES used to partner with to conduct its public opinion polling in Ukraine – discusses how the Euromaidan movement affected Ukrainians’ views on democracy, how public opinion polling can help strengthen democracy and what is unique about IFES’ public opinion polling project in Ukraine.
Iraq has undergone dramatic change in the past decade. The U.S.-led war in Iraq that began in 2003, and the subsequent de-Ba’athification process led by the Coalition Provisional Authority, spike in sectarianism, advancement by the Islamic State (IS) and push by the Kurds for independence, all continue to impact the country’s political and security environment. It is within this complex context that the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) worked in Iraq for the 12 years, providing capacity building for Iraq’s election system from 2003 until September 2015.