Lesley Richards is the Deputy Chief of Party for DI’s Strengthening Political Landscape (SPL) Program in Bangladesh. Ms. Richards is a Democracy and Governance professional with 15 years of experience in the areas of electoral Processes, rule of law, governance, civil society and human rights. She has experience designing, implementing and managing initiatives that promote electoral processes best practices, institutional strengthening, capacity development and civil society and working with marginalized populations in post conflict countries. She has experience conducting assessments that evaluate the overall capacity of the institutions, to independently and professionally manage processes and their ability to build internal planning, coordination and capacity-building structures. Ms. Richards’ work on gender and persons with disabilities includes developing platforms for advancing strategies amongst civil society organizations and government institutions for the advancement of women and persons with disabilities. She conducted a U.S. Department of State-funded assessment, the Violence against Women in Elections Assessment, which established the historical context for violence and women’s political participation and defined the cultural and socio-political norms that impact the status of women in society as well as their participation in the electoral process. She conducted a comprehensive assessment and analysis of Haitian political parties that was part of a political economy report for the World Bank. Ms. Richards has conducted analyses of electoral processes in Jordan, Algeria, Morocco and Haiti. She has managed rule of law projects in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala and Haiti.
Ms. Richards holds an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami. She is fluent in French and Spanish.