IFES Annual Report 2018
I joined IFES in November 2018 and am grateful for the Board of Directors’ confidence in my leadership, the warm welcome I have received from colleagues across the organization and former President and CEO Bill Sweeney’s leadership. Throughout my career, I have been involved in democracy and elections from different perspectives, including field monitoring, policymaking and United Nations operational support. In fact, one aspect of my first job abroad was helping to organize commune-level elections in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, where I witnessed the injustices that result when citizens are excluded from political and democratic processes.
IFES has built a well-deserved reputation as a world-class technical assistance provider driven by its mission to support citizens’ right to participate in free and fair elections. In its 32-year history, IFES has worked in more than 145 countries – from developing to mature democracies – guided by its belief that the right to vote is a fundamental political and human right. Through my work at IFES headquarters and travel to field offices, I have been incredibly impressed by the quality and impact of IFES programs and the passion and professionalism of our staff. I am committed to ensuring that IFES continues to be the global leader in democracy promotion and electoral integrity.
We are proud to partner with institutions and organizations around the world to advance good governance and democratic rights, including election management bodies, host and donor governments, and nongovernmental and civil society organizations. I have been meeting many of our partners through my travels and can attest to both the invaluable contribution they are making toward our shared goals and their appreciation for the caliber and impact of our programs. I look forward to deepening these relationships, as well as developing new partnerships with foundations and other donors to support our vital work.
In the face of serious threats to democracy around the world, including rising authoritarianism and the misuse of technology, IFES’ mission is now more important than ever. I am privileged to take on the leadership of IFES at such a critical juncture. While some challenges remain the same, others will be substantively different than those we have faced in the past. Just as our partners and the wider public are increasingly recognizing these threats to democracy, our expertise and agility allow us to develop and deploy tools to help our partners counter these threats. We will continue to do everything we can, working with our partners, to promote thriving democracies and citizens’ right to choose their leaders.
Anthony N. Banbury
IFES President and CEO