IFES Annual Report 2016
Our organization experienced a number of transitions and achievements in 2016. Our team has fully settled into our new office space in Arlington, Virginia. The move in late 2015 did not disrupt our work and in 2016 we have come to embrace our new neighborhood and modern work environment. We also updated financial, accounting and compliance procedures to align with best practices for international development organizations.
In September, we held the seventh annual Charles T. Manatt Democracy Awards ceremony. The 2016 awardees were Myanmar disability rights advocate Nay Lin Soe, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Bay Fang, Radio Free Asia managing director, emceed the awards ceremony, which was co-chaired by IFES Board Director and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Project on Prosperity and Development Dan Runde and former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia Theodore Sedgwick.
In November, IFES hosted the largest international gathering of election professionals of the year, with over 500 participants from 90 countries attending the 2016 U.S. Election Program (USEP) and Seventh Global Elections Organization Conference (GEO-7). USEP and GEO-7 participants watched Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s concession speech and remarks from U.S. President Barack Obama on the election of Donald Trump. In a discussion held after the speeches, participants noted that despite a turbulent election process, the U.S.was continuing its tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. Important questions about the future of democracy promotion and the U.S.’ new foreign policy agenda were raised in the aftermath of the U.S. elections and continue to take place in our democracy and governance space.
IFES also engaged in key elections around the world in 2016, assisting the Jordanian Independent Election Commission as it implemented election reforms and conducted the first polls under an expanded mandate during parliamentary elections held in September; strengthening the Georgian Central Election Commission’s electoral security and integrity procedures ahead of parliamentary elections in October; mobilizing the longest electoral process in Haitian history and becoming a strategic partner for the Haitian Electoral Council and local communities as they prepared for presidential elections in November; and supporting Macedonia’s new State Election Commission in administering parliamentary elections in December.
In December, we thanked the contributions and 70-year combined service of directors stepping down from the IFES Board: former Vice Chairman Judy A. Black, former Treasurer Lesley Israel, the Hon. Robert Livingston, and R. Scott Pastrick. We finished the year by looking ahead to 2017, when we mark our 30th anniversary and celebrate three decades of giving people a voice in how they are governed.
We would like to thank all of our supporters and partners for their efforts to help IFES advance its democratic mission to give a vote to every voice.