Jordanian Director of Elections Receives Award for Advancing Democracy

Publication Date: 
21 Mar 2011

News Type:

Leading International Elections NGO Presents the Patricia Hutar Award to Saad Shehab

Saad Shehab, director of the Elections Department within the Ministry of Interior (MoI) of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, has been awarded the Patricia Hutar Award by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The Patricia Hutar Award recognizes the contributions of distinguished public servants who work in partnership with IFES to advance reform of electoral and democratic processes in their home countries. 

“Saad Shehab’s vision and determination have resulted in an improved elections system in Jordan. The 2010 Parliamentary Elections, which for the first time were open to international observers, showed great progress towards improving the transparency, efficiency and credibility of elections in Jordan,” says Bill Sweeney, IFES president and CEO. 

Mr. Shehab has worked for the government of Jordan for the past 23 years. He has participated in the preparations for six parliamentary elections and four other elections, including those for the Chamber of Commerce, Greater Amman Municipality, Chamber of Industry, and Women’s Committees. His commitment to improving Jordan’s electoral system by assessing its needs, studying international best practices, and developing efficient solutions have resulted in improvements in electoral processes that serve as a benchmark for the conduct of future elections.

Among his many accomplishments in the field of elections, Mr. Shehab developed the first-ever written procedures adopted by the MoI for the Polling & Counting Committees in the 2007 and 2010 parliamentary elections. Mr. Shehab was also responsible for making the electoral process more accessible to persons with disabilities and changing procedures to allow voters with disabilities to vote with the assistance of individuals they freely choose. 

IFES seeks to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of individuals in advancing freedom and democracy by bestowing named awards in honor of founders of the organization, including past Chairs of the Board of Directors, Charles T. Manatt and Patricia Hutar, and Senior Advisor Joe C. Baxter.   

The Patricia Hutar Award honors public servants who, through their work or activities, express a commitment to improved democratic practices.   Ms. Hutar, a Republican activist, was a founding board member at IFES.

"Pat was a true pioneer for three causes: women's economic and political empowerment, the Republican Party and global democracy," says Mr. Sweeney. “The Hutar Award is presented to individuals who share her vibrant spirit and determination to ensure people are enabled and empowered.”

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The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is the leading election assistance and democracy promotion non-governmental organization.  

IFES promotes democratic stability by providing technical assistance and applying field-based research to the electoral cycle worldwide to enhance citizen participation and strengthen civil societies, governance and transparency.