Ian Smith, Country Director, Nepal
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Country Director for Nepal Ian Smith leads IFES' efforts to promote inclusive elections in Nepal under the United States Agency for International Development’s “Niti Sambad” (Policy Dialogue) program. Under Niti Sambad, IFES provides technical support to the Election Commission of Nepal's management of elections and legal reform, including direct support to the Election Commission of Nepal to implement the first local and parliamentary elections at the national and provincial levels since Nepal’s new Constitution was passed in 2015. Niti Sambad also supports civil society organizations to implement civic and voter education projects for marginalized groups throughout Nepal. Smith previously held the position of IFES’ chief of party for Libya under the “Libya Elections and Governance Support” program, which provided direct support to the High National Election Commission to successfully implement Libya's first-ever democratic election in 2012.
Smith has over 20 years of experience working in the election field serving as a technical expert for IFES, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations Development Programme in countries such as Georgia, Kosovo, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Yemen. He has also worked on the development of election-related training curriculums and capacity-building programs in Myanmar, the Philippines, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, in addition to drafting and reviewing multiple Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) modules. Smith also managed the design and monitoring of out-of-country voting programs for elections in Iraq, South Sudan and Afghanistan.
In addition to his international work, Smith has worked on local elections in Canada researching and implementing alternative election strategies for persons with disabilities, including internet voting systems and electronic voting machines. Smith holds a master’s degree in environmental studies with a specialization in international development and refugee studies, as well as bachelor’s degrees in education and arts and science.