Eric Bjornlund: Board Chair
Eric Bjornlund is a lawyer and is co-founder and President of Democracy International (DI), a U.S.-based firm founded in 2003 that provides technical assistance, analytical services, and project implementation for democracy, human rights and governance (DRG), peace and resilience, and other international development programs worldwide. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University, where he teaches in the graduate program in Democracy and Governance; serves by appointment of the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development as a member of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid; serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Council of International Development Companies; and is Secretary and Board Member of the Advancing Democratic Elections and Political Transitions (ADEPT) consortium of six leading democracy promotion organizations.
Over the past 30 years, Mr. Bjornlund has designed, managed, evaluated, and provided training and technical assistance for international development programs in 70 countries. He has expertise in elections and election monitoring, democratization, legal reform, and international democracy promotion, including in semiauthoritarian and conflict-affected countries. He 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. Mr. Bjornlund 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.