Robert David Irish, Deputy Chief of Party, Papua New Guinea
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Deputy Chief of Party in Papua New Guinea Robert David Irish has contributed leadership, electoral analysis and technical assistance to 15 democracy and governance programs in 12 countries in Africa, South Asia, the South Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Specialty areas include project management; electoral operations; legal framework analysis; monitoring and evaluation; and advising stakeholders, partners, donors and election management body counterparts.
Irish contributed technical guidance to operational problem-solving at the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq during national, regional and local elections with IFES in 2008-10. While serving as IFES’ field operations manager in South Sudan he provided project support and legal guidance to the Southern Sudan referendum on self-determination that contributed to the establishment of a new country in 2011, enactment of the first electoral law in 2012 and formation of the first-ever National Elections Commission of South Sudan in 2013. In Papua New Guinea, Irish has been supporting IFES program administration and advising on operational and legal issues at the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission for national and local elections since 2017.
Additional governance experience includes programs analyzing elections, civil society, political parties and conflict cycles in Ethiopia, Haiti, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, South Sudan and Ukraine from 2005 until 2016.
In 2014, IFES published his article “Mitigating Electoral Violence in South Sudan” in Elections Worth Dying For? A Selection of Case Studies from Africa. Irish is from California and holds a master’s degree in political science, cum laude, from the Universiteit van Amsterdam.