IFES Elects Five New Board Members

Publication Date: 
7 Jul 2015

News Type:

Kenneth A. Cutshaw, Irena Hadžiabdić, Ambassador Tom McDonald, Catlin O’Neill and Daniel F. Runde Bring Diversity in Public Service and Foreign Policy to the IFES Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 7, 2015 — The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is pleased to announce the election of Kenneth A. Cutshaw, Irena Hadžiabdić, Ambassador Tom McDonald, Catlin O’Neill and Daniel F. Runde to its Board of Directors. The additions bring the total number of Board members to 22.

 “As IFES strives to provide citizens across the globe with the fundamental right to have a say in how they are governed, these five impressive individuals bring vitality and a wealth of expertise in international development, election management, foreign policy, technology, diplomacy, public service and business to our Board of Directors,” said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney. “With an ever-changing and challenging environment for democracy promotion, their perspectives will play an invaluable role in shaping IFES’ strategic direction.”

 “From business to academia, Cutshaw has a wide range of international experience and success; Hadžiabdićis a female pioneer among the next generation of election administrators;Ambassador McDonald is a skilled negotiator and diplomat; O’Neill provides a unique understanding of the intersection between policy and technology; and Runde has an extensive background in and knowledge of development policy,” added Sweeney.

 About Kenneth Cutshaw

Kenneth Cutshaw has excelled in a wide spectrum of work and leadership environments including business management, law, academia, entrepreneurial ventures, government and foreign policy. He is President International of Quiznos, a premium sandwich restaurant concept with a presence in 40 countries and 2,000 units globally. Cutshaw was a partner with Holland & Knight, LLP for six years. While practicing law for over 15 years, he focused on global business transactions. He also is a co-founder and shareholder of Georgian American University (GAU), the past Provost and Dean of GAU and has served as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University, Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. From 1985 to 1991, Cutshaw worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce under appointment of President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Export Enforcement where he managed a global law enforcement and intelligence agency with federal agents posted around the world.

 About Irena Hadžiabdić

Irena Hadžiabdić has spent the past 17 years in the field of election management, first with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), then as Executive Director of IFES in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). She was also the Executive Director of the Association of Election Officials in BiH. In 2007, she was appointed by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly as a member of the BiH Central Election Commission (BiH CEC). From January 2010 to September 2011, she was President of the BiH CEC. She represents the BiH CEC at the Executive Board of the Association of European Election Officials and is currently a member of the Oversight and Audit Committee of the Association of World Election Bodies. Hadžiabdić has observed and assessed elections in 14 countries with OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. In 2013, she received an International Electoral Award for outstanding achievements in election management.

About Ambassador Tom McDonald

Ambassador Tom McDonald is an Equity Partner with BakerHostetler and heads its government policy practice group. He concentrates his practice on governmental policy, both in Washington and internationally, as well as international law and arbitration. He also handles regulatory matters involving the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments. From 1997-2001, McDonald was the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe. He has nearly 30 years of experience representing U.S. multinational corporations and manufacturers, and major South African, United Kingdom, and Japanese banks, mutual fund companies, insurance companies and trade associations. On the international scene, McDonald regularly negotiates the successful resolution of legal matters and other disputes for U.S. multinationals and major South African companies in various countries. Several times a year, his practice takes him abroad to handle various matters in Africa, the United Kingdom, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

 About Catlin O’Neill

Catlin O’Neill is a member of Facebook’s Public Policy office in Washington, D.C., where she works on outreach efforts to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Administration. She plays a key role in explaining how Facebook’s platform functions as well as the industry-leading steps Facebook takes in setting policies and practices that protect the privacy, security and safety of the more than 1.4 billion people who use the site. Prior to joining Facebook, O’Neill spent over a decade working for House Speaker and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, including two years as Chief of Staff. She previously held positions on the House floor, where she managed legislation and House operations of the 109th-113th Congresses. While working with the Democratic leadership, she managed and executed major national events including the State of the Union, Inaugurations and Democratic Conventions.

About Daniel Runde

Daniel Runde is Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development and holds the William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His work centers on leveraging American soft power instruments and the central roles of the private sector and good governance in creating a more free and prosperous world. Previously, he led the Foundations Unit for the Department of Partnerships & Advisory Service Operations at the International Finance Corporation. His work facilitated and supported over $20 million in new funding through partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Kauffman Foundation, and Visa International, among other global private and corporate foundations. Earlier, Runde was Director of the Office of Global Development Alliances at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He led the initiative by providing training, networks, staff, funds, and advice to establish and strengthen alliances, while personally consulting to 15 USAID missions in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. 


As the global leader in democracy promotion, IFES advances good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to election officials; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries, from developing democracies, to mature democracies. For more information, visit www.IFES.org.