IFES Elects Three New Members to its Board of Directors

Senator Rob Portman, Cleta Mitchell and Rodney Bent Bring Excellence in Public Service, Law and Foreign Policy to the IFES Board of Directors
IFES Elects Three New Board Members To Its Board of Directors Featured Image
Publication Date: 
8 May 2017

News Type:

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is pleased to announce the election of Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Cleta Mitchell and foreign policy expert Rodney Bent to its Board of Directors. The additions bring the total number of Board members to 23.

“Senator Portman, Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Bent join the IFES Board at a time of great uncertainty in the democracy promotion space. Their diverse talents and expertise will strengthen our efforts to advocate for continued U.S. government funding for elections assistance abroad,” said IFES Chairman Ken Blackwell. “Now, more than ever, the U.S. must reaffirm its commitment to supporting electoral assistance programs that lead to stable democracies, economic freedom and security in the world’s most vulnerable regions. The new Board members will add their voice to the pursuit of IFES’ critical mission.”

“These three remarkable individuals bring an impressive wealth of expertise and perspectives on public service, election and campaign finance law, and foreign policy to our Board of Directors,” said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney. “They will play an important role in shaping IFES’ strategic direction as we strive to remain competitive in the ever-changing and challenging democracy and governance field.”

Senator Portman previously served as a congressman in the House of Representatives, as United States trade representative and as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has been in the Senate since 2011, where he co-founded and co-chairs the bipartisan Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking. Senator Portman is the author of five federal anti-trafficking laws signed by former U.S. President Barack Obama. He has also authored various pieces of legislation to expand exports and crack down on unfair and illegal imports. Senator Portman is a member of the Finance Committee, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Committee on Foreign Relations. He is also chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Mitchell is a partner and political law attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP, and a member of the firm’s political law practice. With more than 40 years of experience in law, politics and public policy, she advises nonprofit and issue organizations, corporations, candidates, campaigns, and individuals on state and federal campaign finance law, election law, and compliance issues related to lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure. Mitchell practices before the Federal Election Commission, the ethics committees of the U.S. House and Senate and similar state and local enforcement bodies and agencies.

Bent was director of the United Nations secretary-general’s office in Washington, senior advisor to the deputy secretary of state and executive advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton. He previously served as acting chief executive officer and deputy chief executive officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Additionally, Bent worked in Congress on the House Appropriations Committee and at the Office of Management and Budget, where he was the senior career executive in charge of international programs. He served in Baghdad as the senior advisor to the Iraqi Ministries of Finance and Planning.


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.


Daniela Colaiacovo, dcolaiacovo@ifes.org, +1 (202) 350-6802

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