Vasu Mohan, Regional Director, Asia-Pacific, and Senior Global Advisor for Conflict, Displacement and Minority Rights
Vasu Mohan currently serves as the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) regional director for Asia-Pacific and senior global advisor for conflict, displacement and minority rights.
For the past two decades, Mohan has worked on democracy, governance and human rights promotion with a focus on post-conflict elections and democratic inclusion. He has been with IFES since 2001 in the headquarters and the field and supervised programs and field offices in over 22 countries, partnering with a range of international, regional and national stakeholders.
Mohan serves as IFES’ technical lead on election, conflict and security, providing thought leadership on innovative programs and tools to prevent and mitigate violence throughout the electoral cycle. He has designed, managed and implemented electoral assistance programs in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka in post-conflict contexts and supported IFES election violence mitigation programming in Georgia, Kenya, Libya and Nigeria. Mohan led the development of IFES’ flagship election security training program, “Enabling a Peaceful Environment to Administer Credible Elections” (E-PEACE), is currently leading the update of IFES’ “Election Violence Education and Resolution” (EVER) program and was one of the core developers of IFES’ “People Against Violence Everywhere” (PAVE) program.
Throughout his career, Mohan’s work has focused on political, social and legal empowerment of the disenfranchised and marginalized – women, ethnic and religious minorities and persons with disabilities. Mohan was responsible for IFES' Women’s Legal Rights Initiative and Garima Projects in India (2003-11) on gender equality and women’s empowerment, which expanded the dialogue on women’s rights and legal resources available to women.
Mohan has also served in various voluntary capacities including as a member of the Board of Directors at the Tahirih Justice Center, a nonprofit working to protect immigrant women and girls seeking justice in the United States from gender-based violence, and the Institute for Healing Racism.
Mohan is co-author of Electoral Rights of Environmentally Displaced Persons, Countering Hate Speech in Elections: Strategies for Electoral Management Bodies, Gender Equality and Election Management Bodies: A Best Practices Guide, and Sehr: A New Dawn Breaks, a book highlighting IFES' Muslim Women's Initiative in India. He is working on a translation of vignettes from the history of his native Sri Lanka from Tamil into English.
He has testified before the U.S. Congress on reducing the risk of mass atrocities and been interviewed by Voice of America and the Center for Peace and Global Governance. His recent speaking engagements have included an Arizona State University panel on violence and intimidation as tools for voter suppression, a Pilipinas Conference panel on civic engagement in upholding transparency and accountability and a workshop on countering COVID-19 misinformation, disinformation and hate speech in Southeast Asia.
Mohan is fluent in Tamil and Hindi and conversant in Sinhala and Urdu. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.