Hermann Thiel, Country Director, Nigeria
Hermann Thiel, currently the International Foundation for Electoral Systems' (IFES) country director for Nigeria, is an election specialist with over 20 years of experience with long-term projects in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon and South Africa, and with short-term elections work in North Macedonia, Pakistan, Palestine, Timor-Leste, Tunisia and Ukraine. He is a specialist in providing technical assistance in elections, democracy development and governance, and has an established track record of managing large donor-funded programs in developing, transitional and post-conflict environments.
In South Africa, Thiel worked as an analyst with the Independent Electoral Commission during the first democratic elections in 1994. He was part of the United Nations (UN) team conducting the popular consultation for independence in East Timor in 1999 and worked with the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and IFES in Kosovo, preparing for the first two elections in that province in 2000 and 2001. In November 2003, he joined the IFES team in Iraq, providing advice on electoral issues to the Coalition Provisional Authority, UN and Iraqi Governing Council in preparation for Iraqi elections. In 2005, Thiel became country director for IFES on an electoral law reform project in Lebanon. He also served as country director for IFES Jordan from 2007-10 and as country director for IFES Iraq in support of the Independent High Election Commission in 2011. He returned to Jordan in 2012 to head up IFES’ program in support of the newly created Independent Election Commission, and moved to Egypt in 2015 to lead IFES’ political processes support project. In 2019, Thiel became IFES country director in Nigeria. Before his career as an election specialist, Thiel taught political science at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Thiel holds a master’s degree in political science. He is fluent in English and Afrikaans.