Ian Smith, Country Director, Libya
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Country Director for Libya Ian Smith leads IFES' efforts to promote inclusive elections in Libya under the United States Agency for International Development’s “Libya Elections and Legislative Strengthening Activity” (LELSA) program. Through this LELSA program, IFES is providing technical support to the High National Election Commission (HNEC) and the Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections to implement national and local elections. LELSA also partners with the Ministry of Education to develop a statewide civic education curriculum and supports civil society organizations conducting community outreach across Libya.
Smith previously held the position of IFES country director in Nepal under the “Niti Sambad” (Policy Dialogue) program, which provided direct support to the Election Commission of Nepal to implement the first local and parliamentary elections. Prior to his work in Nepal, Smith was the chief of party for Libya under the “Libya Elections and Governance Support” program, which provided direct support to the HNEC 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, International Organization for Migration and 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 Afghanistan, Myanmar, the Philippines and Tajikistan, 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 Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan.
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, and bachelor’s degrees in education and arts and science.