Liza Prendergast serves as Director, Business Development at DI. In this role, she fosters creative thinking and innovative program design for democracy and development assistance. Working with DI’s program teams, she manages proposals and applications across DI’s technical areas, including for elections and political transitions, governance, and peace building and conflict transformation programs. She also works closely with DI’s Analytical Team to design thoughtful approaches for monitoring, evaluation, and learning programs, including for Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Contracts (IDIQs) such as the Monitoring and Evaluation IDIQ issued by USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning and the Monitoring Support Program IDIQ issued by USAID/Afghanistan. She fosters meaningful partnerships with civil society organizations, businesses, academic institutions, think tanks, and non-traditional partners to link theory with practice to improve development outcomes, including to conceptualize and develop DI’s Systems to Uphold the Credibility and Constitutionality of South Sudan (SUCCESS) program. Since 2013, MS. Prendergast has helped expand DI’s global presence in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Before working at DI, Ms. Prendergast served as a Technical Specialist and Certified Performance Technologist with a global portfolio in Civil Society and Governance at World Learning. She was responsible for developing and delivering civil society strengthening and civic engagement programming, including in Algeria, Burma, Egypt, and South Sudan. In Algeria, she worked with the universities of Ouargla and Constantine to design workforce development and civic engagement programming. In Burma, she worked with World Learning’s Yangon-based office to develop the Institute for Political and Civic Engagement (IPACE) program, funded by the U.S. Embassy. On behalf of World Learning, she also conducted training for World Bank staff members in Social Accountability mechanisms, including participatory budgeting, citizen report cards, and community score cards, in Istanbul, Turkey and in Washington, DC. Previously, Ms. Prendergast served as Assistant Director of the Center for Civic Education’s Washington, DC, office, where she supported congressional authorization and appropriations legislation for the Education for Democracy Act, which funded civic education programming in the United States and in more than 70 countries. From 2003 – 2006, she worked closely with congressional offices, including the Majority and Minority offices in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to organize four Congressional Conferences on Civic Education, national gatherings of state legislators, education officials, secretaries of state, academics, and civil society representatives committed to improving the civic education in schools. Later, she assumed management of the Campaign to Promote Civic Education, a national effort to improve policy and practice in democracy education in the United States. From 2006 – 2011, she managed Civitas International programs in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and supported six World Congresses on Civic Education in Jordan, Poland, Morocco, Argentina, South Africa, and Indonesia. With Civitas, she worked with CSOs or Ministries of Education around the world with professional travel to Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, Jordan, Kosovo, Macedonia,Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Senegal, Serbia, and South Africa.
Ms. Prendergast speaks regularly on issues of democratization, development, and youth empowerment and works with young people to explore careers in policy and development. She is a member of the Working Group on Democracy Education at the Council for a Community of Democracies and she is a board member of Friends of European Humanities University, a Belarusian university in exile in Lithuania. In 2015, she served as a teaching assistant for DI President Eric Bjornlund at Georgetown University for a M.A. level course entitled Writing for Government Grants and Contracts in International Development. She has served as an elections officer for the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics and has contributed to the Georgetown University academic portal Democracy and Society and the IFES ElectionGuide Digest. She also served as an OCV volunteer with the International Organization for Migration in advance of the South Sudan independence referendum in 2011, conducted voluntary civic engagement training in Juba for the National Democratic Institute in 2012, and served on DI’s South Sudan civil society assessment mission in 2014. Ms. Prendergast holds a M.A. in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University, where she graduated with distinction, and a B.A. in History from George Washington University.