George (Gio) Kobakhidze, Deputy Country Director, Ukraine
Gio Kobakhidze is the deputy country director for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Ukraine and IFES’ technical lead on civic education. Kobakhidze has nine years of experience in the democracy and governance field, with postings in Washington, D.C.; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Kyiv, Ukraine. In Georgia, Kobakhidze designed and managed IFES’ civic and voter education programming, which included support to local civil society organizations working in this field, as well as the introduction of an interactive, semester-long university-level civic education course that is currently offered at the majority of accredited universities throughout the country.
Kobakhidze is currently stationed with IFES in Ukraine, where he oversees the implementation of programming designed to support the consolidation of Ukrainian democracy through more participatory, transparent and accountable electoral processes and institutions. Key areas of programming include: technical assistance and support to election management bodies, political finance regulators, civil society, media and academic institutions; fostering dialogue on electoral and political finance reform and implementation; enhancing inclusion in the electoral process for underrepresented and disenfranchised populations; and supporting informed citizen participation during and between election cycles through civic and voter education. Kobakhidze is American, a native English speaker, and has intermediate proficiency in Georgian and Russian.