Laurie Cooper, Deputy Director, Africa
Laurie Cooper is the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) deputy director for Africa. She has worked on projects and issues related to promoting democracy and good governance in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1991. Her most recent project tasks related to countering violent extremism in Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger, as well as medical education support and small-scale economic development in South Sudan. Her specific areas of interest include decentralization, the use of collaborative dispute resolution to address election issues, and assessment tools for business development and project performance.
Prior to re-joining IFES in 2017, Cooper worked at IFES from 1989 to 2003, in the Africa and Near East region. Her project portfolio focused on East and Southern Africa, with occasional work in Francophone Africa. Between 2003 and 2017, she was involved in a wide range of development assistance such as high-school student exchanges in Mauritania, Mauritius and Namibia (and Kansas, Maryland and Tennessee); assessment missions in Mali and in Liberia; and during a long career in Liberia, she managed projects providing alternatives to detention, community land dispute resolution, even editing a lifestyle magazine. She speaks French, Portuguese and Spanish.