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Plenary Panel on Principles of International Elections - Panelist Bios & Photos

Plenary Panel on Principles of International Elections

Patrick Merloe (Moderator) - National Democratic Institute

Patrick Merloe has over 30 years of experience in promoting citizen empowerment, governmental accountability and public policy advocacy.  He serves as Senior Associate and Director of Electoral Programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).  Pat has participated in over 170 international missions for NDI to more than 65 countries, concerning political rights, electoral integrity and democratic development.  He has produced a dozen publications on comparative law, human rights and elections, and served as the principal drafter and negotiator of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which is endorsed by 40 international organizations, and facilitated the process that produced the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations, promulgated by the 150-member Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM).  He is a frequent public speaker, has appeared on numerous news outlets and has occasionally has provided Congressional testimony.  He also has worked with United Nations bodies, other intergovernmental organizations, international human rights and domestic organizations concerned with democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  Pat received his Juris Doctor (doctor of law) degree form the University of Pennsylvania, conducted graduate work at the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC, and completed his undergraduate education at Temple University.   

Susan Hyde - Yale

Susan D. Hyde is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Yale University.  Her research examines how international actors attempt to change politics or policies within sovereign states, particularly in the developing world. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2006. She has held residential fellowships at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and Princeton University's Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance. Her first book, The Pseudo-Democrat's Dilemma: Why Election Observation Became an International Norm, was published by Cornell University Press in 2011, and has received the Chadwick F. Alger Prize for the best book on the subject of international organization and multilateralism, the best book award from the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association, and Yale’s 2012 Gustav Ranis International Book Prize. Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Comparative Political Studies, Foreign Affairs, The Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Political Analysis, and World Politics


Catie Lott - USAID

Alex Sutton - International Republican Institute

Sutton began his career at IRI in 1992. He currently serves as Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean where he oversees the Institute’s programs work with Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela, in addition to overseeing the Latin America Regional Governance Program.

From 1992 through 1996, Sutton was a part of IRI’s Eastern Europe Division. During that memorable period of democratization in Eastern Europe, Sutton worked with emerging political activists who would eventually go on to play prominent leadership roles in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia. In 1998, Sutton established IRI’s presence in Nigeria and helped to execute voter-education programs in every part of that country leading up to the 1999 elections.

From September 2006 through May 2008, Sutton served as Resident Country Director in Colombia, where IRI worked with black members of Colombia’s Congress from the Afro-Colombian Caucus, an important and influential legislative bloc. Prior to managing IRI’s Colombia operations, Sutton held similar positions in Bangladesh (2003-2005) and Cambodia (2005-2007), where he worked on innovative youth programming.

Sutton attended college at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA, and received a bachlor's degree in journalism in 1988

Chad Vickery - International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Chad Vickery is the Regional Director for Europe and Asia at IFES. He has 17 years of legal and international election administration experience with an emphasis on strengthening democracy and governance in transitioning societies. He has extensive experience in designing and managing election complaint adjudication programs; providing comparative legal analysis, working on elections and rule of law programs throughout South Asia, Southeast Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East. Vickery’s specific programmatic experience includes leading projects to ensure development of impartial legal frameworks for elections, increasing professionalism of election management bodies, improving accuracy of voter registration lists, establishing effective election dispute programs and increasing political participation of women and historically disenfranchised groups in the electoral process.

He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University, a juris doctorate from the Catholic University of America with a concentration in comparative and international law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington. He is a member of the Washington State Bar.

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