Eric Bjornlund


Eric Bjornlund is a lawyer and is co-founder and President of Democracy International (DI). Over the past 30 years, he has designed, managed, evaluated, and provided training and technical assistance for international development programs in 70 countries. He has extensive experience across the full range of democracy, human rights, and governance (DRG), peace and resilience, and transition programs and is a recognized expert on international and domestic election monitoring and on analytical methods for international development assistance. Since 2003, he has co-led the successful effort to build DI into a thriving, contributing, influential international development company.

Mr. Bjornlund is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University, where he teaches in the graduate program in Democracy and Governance; serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Council of International De-velopment Companies; serves as Co-Chair of the Democracy, Rights, and Governance Workgroup of the Society for International Development-Washington; is a member of the State Department Conflict and Stabilization Operations Advisory Committee; is Secretary and Board Member of the Advancing Democratic Elections and Political Transitions (ADEPT) consortium of six leading democracy promotion organizations; and serves Chair of the Election Reformers Network, a nonprofit organization formed by a bipartisan network of experts in international democracy promotion. From 2016 to 2018 he served by appointment of the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for Interna-tional Development as a member of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. Mr. Bjornlund is author of Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy (2004; Arabic edition 2013), a seminal study of the emergence and significance of election monitoring, as well as numerous book chapters, articles, essays, and reports. He has testified on a number of occasions before the U.S. Congress and at the United Nations and has appeared often as an expert at international conferences and on television and radio in the U.S. and abroad.

Mr. Bjornlund worked previously for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Carter Center, and he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Earlier in his career, he practiced corporate and international law at Ropes & Gray, one of the largest law firms in the U.S. Mr. Bjornlund holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia University, a Master in Public Administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Williams College.

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