IFES Statement on the Passing of Allen Weinstein

Publication Date: 
19 Jun 2015

News Type:

The Board of Directors and staff of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) mourn the passing of Allen Weinstein on June 18, 2015 at the age of 77. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time, as we remember his extensive contributions to the global democracy movement.

“He played an important strategic role in the 1986 elections in the Philippines that led to the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos and the election of Corazon Aquino, and then again in Central America concerning the roles and responsibilities of democratically elected governments a generation ago,” said Peter Kelly, former Chairman of the IFES Board of Directors and a founder of the Center for Democracy. “Allen was our intellectual foundation.”

Weinstein held professorships at Smith College, Georgetown University, and Boston University. He received the United Nations Peace Medal in 1986, the Council of Europe's Silver Medal twice, in 1990 and 1996, and the Edgar Allan Poe Special Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his original edition of Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case. Other published books include The Story of America, Freedom and Crisis: An American History, Prelude to Populism, and The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America–the Stalin Era.

In 1985, Weinstein founded the Center for Democracy, which merged with IFES in 2003. He also served as the Archivist of the United States from 2005 to 2009. He was a Senior Strategic Adviser for IFES from 2009-2010 and then joined the National Endowment for Democracy as its first Visiting Library Fellow.

“Allen was always thinking about the next step forward to advance human rights, freedom and democracy. His passion was always intense and immediate. He never had time for political excuses in the cause of political freedom,” said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney. “Allen’s passion for democracy and his valuable insights will be greatly missed.”


IFES supports citizens’ right to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies.

Washington Examiner pays tribute to Weinstein in "Two boys from the Bronx who loved America"