Feltman and Farkas headshot
News and Updates

Farkas and Feltman Join IFES Board of Directors


The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Feltman and Evelyn Farkas have joined IFES’s Board of Directors. They will attend IFES’s Spring 2023 Board meeting as their first meeting.

“IFES is delighted to welcome two such strategic thinkers to our Board,” said IFES President and CEO Anthony Banbury. “Threats to democracy are proliferating worldwide, and we need leadership and insight of the highest caliber to meet emerging challenges. The depth of experience and track records of accomplishment that Jeffrey and Evelyn bring to our Board will be tremendous assets to IFES at this pivotal time.”

“We have all witnessed global declines in democracy and increases in authoritarianism in recent decades,” said Feltman. “IFES is doing something about it. I could not be prouder to join the organization as it builds the toolkit for the 21st century and defines how democrats worldwide respond to threats to democracy in real-time.”

Farkas is the Executive Director of the McCain Institute. Feltman is the John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Foundation. They were elected to IFES’s Board by unanimous vote. Their term of service is effective immediately.

“We have seen time and again that strong, resilient democracies are the pillars of global and regional security,” said Farkas. “It is an honor to join such a distinguished group of thinkers and doers on the Board of IFES at this moment when the organization is driving innovative approaches to meet the threats democracy faces.”

About Jeffrey Feltman: Feltman is the John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Foundation. Earlier, Feltman served for nearly six years as the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs at the United Nations in New York, acting as the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 

Feltman was a U.S. foreign service officer for over 26 years; he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs from 2009 until his retirement from the State Department, with the rank of career minister, in May 2012. He served as the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa for the Department of State from April 2021 to January 2022. He is a senior fellow at the Washington-based United Nations Foundation and a distinguished fellow at Asia Society Policy Institute.

About Evelyn Farkas: Farkas is the Executive Director of the McCain Institute. Farkas has three decades of experience working on national security and foreign policy. She served from 2012 to 2015 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, Balkans, Caucasus, and conventional arms control. She has also been senior advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, special advisor to the Secretary of Defense for the NATO Summit, president of Farkas Global Strategies, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Atlantic Council, and national security contributor for NBC/MSNBC. In 2019-2020, she ran to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.