Photo credit: Marc Serota, Reuters
What We Do: Promoting and defending democracy as a conflict resolving institution through the ideals of free, fair, and accountable political competition.
Why We Do It: Democracies peacefully change government leaders and policies on a regular basis – with more freedom, dignity, and justice – and more opportunities to succeed – than any other form of government. We see the suffering of people who live under repressive regimes and prefer to avoid that for ourselves and our loved ones. We want to see our democracy preserved and strengthened.
How We Do It: We want to be a non-partisan and neutral source of inspiration and a practical resource. Our website has links to a wide range of podcasts, videos, and the constitution itself to help you get better acquainted with all the important parts of our democracy and why they matter. There is an additional resource page with links to organizations assisting with civic education, elections in the USA and around the world, information about upcoming legislation, and government accountability. We provide a regular blog, and welcome your ideas for future topics. Some of you might even want to contribute. We hope you will subscribe and share with your family, friends, and neighbors.
Liza Prendergast is a specialist in democracy, human rights, and governance. For more than a decade, she has designed and implemented civic education and engagement programs in the United States and around the world. Currently, she serves as a Director at Democracy International, where she oversees proposal development and program design for DI’s global democracy support programs and analytical projects funded by USAID and the U.S. State Department. Previously, she served as a Technical Specialist at World Learning, where she supported the design and implementation of civic engagement programming in Algeria, Burma, Egypt, South Sudan, and Thailand. She also conducted courses in Social Accountability methods for World Bank officials across the Middle East and North Africa. Before that she served as Assistant Director of the Center for Civic Education’s Washington, D.C. office where she advocated for the Education for Democracy Act, authorized legislation that supported democracy education in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. In that role, she managed the Campaign to Promote Civic Education, a fifty-state effort to improve democracy education in the United States, and she managed Civitas International programs, including in Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. She has served on the Working Group on Democracy Education at the Council for a Community of Democracies and on the board of Friends of European Humanities University, a Belarusian university in exile in Lithuania. She holds an M.A. in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University and a B.A. in History from George Washington University.
Eric Palladini is a historian working in economic development, focused on micro-finance, inequality, and institutions. He manages an oral history program for members of the Latino LGBTQ community in Washington DC. He served as a poll worker in New Mexico. Eric also co-authored a book on micro finance which is used in the Boulder Institute’s Micro-finance training. He holds a PhD in History from Tulane University and a B.S. in Languages and Linguistics from Georgetown University.
Scott Lansell has more than 20 years of experience in program management, development, design, and outreach, with expertise in international democracy, governance, and civil society programming. An active development professional in democracy and governance programs, he served as the director for civil society and governance at World Learning, senior director of programs and strategic operations at the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) and an internal cooperation specialist with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Regional Mission for Europe, during which he served as interim USAID country director for Lithuania and Albania. He has led or participated in more than 40 field missions throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East, and has worked with and for numerous international and local civil society organizations. After the 2000 elections, built a U.S. elections assistance portfolio of 12 unique contract awards across every jurisdictional level including Federal, State, County, City and Territories. Scott holds an MBA from George Mason University and a BA in political science from Miami University in Ohio.
Barak Hoffman is a Political Economist at the World Bank and provides independent consulting services for various other public and private institutions. His areas of expertise include the political economy of development, developing monitoring and evaluation systems, and program design and evaluation. He has worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Dr. Hoffman has previously worked for the United States Agency for International Development, the United States Department of the Treasury, the United States Federal Reserve, Georgetown University, and Stanford University. His research has been published in a range of journals, including Comparative Politics, the Journal of Democracy, and World Development, as well as in numerous official publications of USAID, the World Bank, and similar organizations. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.
Doug Addison is the originator of FF&A. He fought poverty around the world as an economist for the World Bank between 1985 and 2016. Within that time, and with the hard work of many others, the share of people living on less than $1.90 per day in the world’s low and middle-income countries fell from 46 percent in 1985 to 12.6 in 2013. Doug’s country experience includes Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), and Cyprus. All but Ghana and Zambia suffered from major civil conflict within the last 50 years. Doug holds a M.Phil. in economics from the University of Sussex, a M.A. in economics from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in economics from the University of Colorado. He is now studying how democracy does and does not reduce armed conflict at George Mason University.
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