Dr. Fernanda Buril is the Deputy Director of the Center for Applied Research and Learning at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Her main areas of expertise revolve around political transitions, electoral operations, conflict and security and electoral integrity. She supports the application of innovative research and assessment frameworks to promote evidence-based programs and provides technical assistance to partners around the world.
Fernanda is the lead author of Overcoming Challenges to Democracy and Governance Programs in Post-Conflict Countries and Increasing the Success and Sustainability of Democracy and Governance Interventions in Post-Conflict Countries, which analyze more than 25 years of democracy assistance programming and identify strategies to increase the likelihood of positive and sustainable impact. She has also published a chapter in The Handbook of Collective Violence and co-authored IFES’ Safeguarding Health and Elections, one of the first comprehensive guides on how to hold elections safely during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Her work has also been published by The British Academy and the St. Andrew’s Journal of International Relations.
Before joining the Center, Fernanda worked in the IFES Americas regional team, managing projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. She has also worked for other nonprofit organizations, designing projects to counter violent extremism and promote interreligious dialogue. She was also a Penn Kemble Fellow (2019-2020) at the National Endowment for Democracy.
Fernanda holds a Ph.D. in political science from Washington State University (WSU), where she specialized in political psychology and international relations. At WSU, she taught courses on politics of developing nations, international politics and gender and politics.