Meredith Applegate serves as the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) country director for Guyana. She has significant experience developing, managing, and implementing democracy and elections programs in headquarters and the field. She is particularly focused on gender equality, civil society advocacy and development, voter and civic education, and disability rights. Applegate is an experienced trainer and an accrediting Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) facilitator, with experience creating curricula and facilitating workshops for governments, election commissions, and disability and women’s rights organizations, as well as designing and implementing leadership programs.
Before joining the Guyana program, Applegate provided program oversight, advice, and support to IFES’s Sri Lanka and Bangladesh programs based out of Colombo. Previously, Applegate served as the program adviser for IFES Ukraine in Kyiv, with an emphasis on COVID-19 response, gender equality, and social inclusion. For IFES Myanmar, which grew with her support into the largest election support initiative in the country, Applegate helped establish IFES’s program, forming relationships with the election management body, government officials, and civil society.
For IFES Indonesia, Applegate worked on a broad election portfolio that included a regional network to increase access for and monitor the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region. She has also worked on short to mid-term assignments on civic education, curriculum development, good governance, and violence against women, including for United Nations Women in Sierra Leone, the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova, and IFES projects in Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Nepal, and Timor-Leste.
Applegate holds a master’s degree in gender, development, and globalization from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and English from Northwestern University.