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IFES Launches the Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust


On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) President and CEO Anthony Banbury today announced the launch of the IFES Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust. 

Corruption is a triple threat to democracies: It perpetuates unjust systems of power; it stunts the ability of governments to deliver for all people; and it erodes trust in political leaders and democratic institutions. From working on elections in over 145 countries for 35 years, IFES has seen that without effective protections, elections can become the foundation on which corrupt structures are built and sustained. 

"Left unchecked, electoral and political corruption threatens the very foundation of democracy, and ultimately can drive violent conflict and humanitarian crises," Banbury said. "IFES’ Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust will forge new partnerships and develop new approaches to counter the dangers that corruption poses to democracies around the world.” 

The IFES Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust will focus on improving the ability of democracies to deliver for all people through cross-sectoral anti-corruption initiatives that address the global democratic trust deficit. 

"Political corruption thrives and expands in unjust systems of power, so the more unjust or autocratic a country's governing structure, the more corruption can flourish," said IFES' Senior Global Legal Advisor Katherine Ellena, who will lead the new Center. “The Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust will address pervasive forms of political and electoral corruption that pose the greatest threat to democracy. We will do this by serving as an incubator for new academic and practitioner partnerships and global initiatives that raise awareness of the issues and innovate to address them.” 

The IFES Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust will advance IFES' mission – Together we build democracies that deliver for all – which reflects our commitment to partnering with people and societies around the world to achieve their right and aspiration for representative and responsive government.   

In the coming months, the Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust will launch fellowships; partnerships with universities, civil society organizations, institutions and the private sector; and priority global initiatives. In addition to Ellena, the Center team will include Senior Global Political Finance Advisor Magnus Öhman, Senior Legal and Justice Advisor Typhaine Roblot, Legal and Anti-Corruption Officer Uchechi Anyanwu, Legal and Research Officer Alexandra Brown and Research Officer Chelsea Dreher. 

Learn more about the Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust

To interview Banbury or Ellena, members of the press should contact [email protected].  

Follow @TonyBanbury and @KatieRoseEllena on Twitter.

Published on September 15, 2021.