Angela Canterbury, Director, Strategic Communications and Advocacy
Angela Canterbury serves as the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) director of strategic communications and advocacy. Over the past two decades, she has helped to build teams, partnerships and strategies to strengthen development, democracy, human rights and governance in the U.S. and globally.
In 1999, Canterbury served as a volunteer observer of the presidential election in Ukraine as part of an international coalition that included IFES. At the time, she was consulting with global nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local civil society organizations to support Ukrainians building their nascent democracy. The following year, the U.S. presidential election was plagued with problems. It humbled her, and inspired her to work on strengthening democracy in the U.S. when she returned after nearly four years based in Kyiv. She subsequently coordinated the online advocacy program for the League of Women Voters and supported more than 900 state and local leagues on the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act Reauthorization. Since then, Canterbury has testified before the U.S. Congress six times and advocated for more than two dozen laws to strengthen governance, including the public financing of elections, redistricting reform, anti-human trafficking, environmental justice, whistleblower protections, freedom of speech and information, open government and anti-corruption.
Canterbury has helped to lead strategic communications and advocacy for several notable NGOs, including through her consulting practice with clients such as Internews, Global Witness, MoveOn and Counterpart International. Until 2018, she served as managing director of communications and advocacy of the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, a former consortium of 30 organizations that partnered with the United States Agency for International Development and mobilized skilled volunteers on a wide range of programs.
She served as director of public policy for the Project On Government Oversight, as advocacy director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch and as the grassroots lobbyist for the League of Women Voters. She also served as executive director of the Council for a Livable World and its affiliated think tank, where she modernized strategic communications and led a team that provided critical support to the campaign for the diplomatic agreement to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
Canterbury began her career working with firms specializing in public opinion research, strategic communications, advocacy and political technology. She also worked on two statewide political campaigns, including as campaign manager for a congressional race.
Canterbury has been published or quoted in media outlets such as Ms. Magazine, Politico, the National Journal, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Hill, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and has appeared on broadcast news and public affairs programs. Canterbury has a bachelor’s degree in economics, a basic knowledge of Russian and Spanish and is learning French. She is an avid cook, traveler, skier and diver who loves people, the planet, art, music and a good sense of humor.