Tanyel Taysi currently serves as the Country Director for International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Bangladesh. Tanyel is a political scientist with 20 years of experience in democracy, rights, and governance, having worked on participatory and responsive sub-national governance, access to justice, civil society engagement, gender, equity, and social inclusion, among others. She has worked in and on over 30 countries and has led long-term USAID, US Department of State, UK, EU, and other European donor-funded programming.
Dr. Taysi joins IFES from ABA ROLI, where she provided technical guidance and designed safeguarding-centered theoretical and methodological approaches for research products and programmatic approaches and training materials for women’s empowerment and human rights programming in 20 countries. Her field postings include Liberia, where she led an INL funded project to bring together security sector and sub-national governance actors with community members and CSOs. She spent time in Afghanistan working on stabilization and governance; in North Africa in Morocco, where she designed the methodological approach and tools for a HICD assessment of a government ministry; and in Tunisia, where she led stabilization, women’s empowerment, and participatory sub-national governance programming on Libya for EU and other European funded programming.
In Iraq (2006-2013), she taught International Relations theory and practice to undergrad and graduate students at The University of Kurdistan-Hawler and was the Regional Representative for the Kurdish Human Rights Project. She held senior roles in USAID-funded governance capacity strengthening and access to justice programming and is particularly grateful for the time she spent as the Team Lead for the legal education and services component of the Iraq Access to Justice Program, where, along with her team, she helped stand-up over 30 CSO and law school legal clinics, many of which are still operating today, helping the most vulnerable citizens access services and benefits. In 2017 she returned to Iraq to work hand in hand with governance actors, community leaders, and CSOs on rebuilding governance, community engagement, and social cohesion in Basra and newly liberated areas, including Ninewah and Anbar as the Deputy Team Lead of a UK, funded sub-national governance strengthening project.
Dr. Taysi is passionate about social justice, collaborative learning, collective inquiry, and decentering dominant power structures and holds a MA and Ph.D. in Political Science with a focus on Comparative and International Politics and Gender, Justice, and Politics and a BA in Anthropology from Washington State University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking and catching up with friends.