This page includes information on NED’s senior staff, including Vice Presidents and Directors.
For questions, see NED’s contact page, use our main telephone number at (202) 378-9700,
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Office of the President

Carl Gershman

Barbara Haig
Deputy to the President for Policy & Strategy

Barbara Haig joined the Endowment in the spring of 1985 and, in her last position as Vice President for Program Planning and Evaluation, led the dramatic growth of the NED’s Grants Program, which included management of the programmatic development, monitoring and evaluation of the Endowment’s worldwide grant making efforts. In the past decade, she has overseen a vast expansion of NED’s program in the Arab Middle East, especially Iraq, and Afghanistan. In 2009, Ms. Haig became Deputy to the President for Policy and Strategy, which allows her to continue providing strategic and policy direction to the grant making effort of the NED, and to advise the NED President and Board regarding broader institutional strategies that will further advance the goals of the grants program.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Haig oversaw the development and implementation of several large and complex democracy programs funded by the United States Government in South Africa, Nicaragua and Central and Eastern Europe. She is a widely recognized expert in the field of democracy promotion and has a deep understanding of the historical aspects and strengths of the Endowment. From 1981 to 1985, Haig was Special Assistant to the Associate Director of Programs, and then to the Director, of the United States Information Agency. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and has studied or worked in Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

J. William Leonard
Chief Operating Officer

J. William (Bill) Leonard brings to NED wide ranging leadership experience as a senior policy-maker and senior program manager within the Federal government where he has worked principally in the areas of Information Security at both the Department of Defense, where he rose to the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security and Information Operations, and most recently at the National Archives as Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, working for US Archivist Allen Weinstein. Weinstein, a key figure in NED’s history, served as the director of the study group that led to NED’s founding. Leonard earned his bachelor’s degree in history at St. John’s University, and a master’s in international relations from Boston University. He has served as an adjunct professor of political science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and resides in Leonardtown, MD.

Government Relations and Public Affairs

David E. Lowe
Vice President, Government Relations & Public Affairs

David E. Lowe is the Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs at the NED.  In this capacity he heads the office  responsible for outreach to Capitol Hill, as well as the Endowment’s government and media relations, publications, events, and Board-related activities.

Lowe also oversees the operation of the World Movement for Democracy, a global initiative that brings together democratic activists from around the world through the Internet and periodic World Assemblies for mutual support and cooperation, and the Center for International Media Assistance, an initiative that seeks to strengthen U.S. support for independent media abroad. He also staffs NED’s Board Committee on Nominations and Governance, and serves as the liaison to NED’s general counsel.

Lowe joined the Endowment in 1989, having served previously as an official in the national office of the Anti-Defamation League and a member of the political science faculty at Drew University. At Drew, he served as Director of the University’s off-campus programs in Washington and London. While in the latter role, he was a frequent speaker for the U.S. Information Agency in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Lowe holds M.A. and PhD. degrees from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. from Brandeis. He has been an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and teaches a course for the Washington Semester program of Lewis and Clark College.

Jane Riley Jacobsen
Senior Director of Public Affairs

Kelly Dougherty
Director of Congressional Relations

Art Kaufman
Senior Director, World Movement for Democracy

Center for International Media Assistance

Mark Nelson
Senior Director

Mark Nelson is a former journalist and development specialist who has written extensively on aid effectiveness, governance and the role of media in development. He joined CIMA from the World Bank, where he spent 17 years as a governance and capacity development expert. Before moving to Washington in 2004, he spent eight years in Paris as head of the World Bank Institute’s European office, where he focused on democratic governance, including the role of the media. From 1985 through 1996, Mr. Nelson was European diplomatic correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, based in Brussels, Berlin and Paris. He covered the negotiations leading to the Maastricht Treaty, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the war in Bosnia. From 1992 to 1993 on leave from the Wall Street Journal, he was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He began his career as a researcher on international affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1983 through 1985, he was a staff reporter at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, where he covered local government. A native of South Carolina, he is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio and completed a masters-level degree in international economics at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

Programs – Africa, Central Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and Caribbean

Nadia Diuk
Vice President, Programs – Africa, Central Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and Caribbean

Nadia Diuk serves as Vice President, Programs for Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a private nonprofit organization funded by the U.S. Congress to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. For over twenty years prior to her appointment as Vice President, she supervised NED programs in Europe and Eurasia where she worked on programs and strategies for the underground democratic movements before 1989, through to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and beyond.

Prior to her appointment at the NED, Dr. Diuk taught Soviet Politics and Russian History; was a research associate at the Society for Central Asian Studies, United Kingdom; and editor-in-chief of the London-based publication Soviet Nationality Survey. Her publications include two co-authored books The Hidden Nations: The People Challenge the Soviet Union(New York: William Morrow, 1990) and New Nations Rising: The Fall of the Soviets and the Challenge of Independence (John Wiley & Sons, 1993) and the recently published The Next Generation in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan: Youth, Politics, Identity and Change(Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).  Her articles have appeared in the Washington PostThe Washington TimesJournal of DemocracyOrbisThe World and IAzerbaijan International, and in the Russian Journal of Public Opinion. She has appeared on CNN International, National Empowerment TV, and Worldnet TV. Her radio interviews have included National Public Radio, BBC, Voice of America, and Radio Liberty. She has been interviewed by Russian radio and is a frequent commentator on Ukraine’s Channel 5 TV. She has given testimony on Capitol Hill before the House International Relations Committee.

Dr. Diuk is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She gained a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in History at the University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Her Master of Philosophy in Russian and East European Studies and Doctorate (D. Phil.) in Modern History were gained at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

Dave Peterson
Senior Director, Africa

Dave Peterson is the Senior Director of the Africa Program of the National Endowment for Democracy, a privately-incorporated, publicly-funded grant-making organization in Washington, DC. Since 1988, he has been responsible for NED’s program to identify and assist hundreds of African non-governmental organizations and activists working for democracy, human rights, free press, justice and peace. He was formerly executive director of Project South Africa of the A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund, and a freelance journalist in Africa and Turkey. He has a BA from Columbia College and an MA from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York, as well as an MA in African Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC. He has visited more than 40 African countries since 1984, and has published numerous articles on African politics.

Rodger Potocki
Senior Director, Europe

Miriam Kornblith
Director, Latin America and the Caribbean

Miriam Kornblith is Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. She has taught politics at the Central University of Venezuela, and from 1998 to1999 served as a board member and vice-president of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council.

Miriam Lanskoy
Director, Russia and Eurasia

Miriam Lanskoy is Director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2003 she was awarded a PhD in international affairs from Boston University for her dissertation on the Russian presidency, the Chechen wars, and social and political problems of the North Caucasus. She has fourteen years of experience in political analysis and democracy promotion in post-Soviet Eurasia and in 2005 became a term member in the Council on Foreign Relations. She has published articles in Journal of Democracy, SAIS Review, and The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs and has appeared on numerous panels and conferences to discuss political developments in Russia and Eurasia, testified in Congress, and appeared on the PBS Newshour.

In 2010, Dr. Lanskoy co-authored The Chechen Struggle: Independence Won and Lost with former Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov. Called “balanced, honest and courageous” by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the book is a uniquely candid, inside account of Chechnya’s two wars against Russia, its interwar attempt to establish national institutions, and the splintering and eventual radicalization of the resistance. It also provides intimate portraits of key personalities within the Chechen leadership, including General Dzhokhar Dudayev, Shamil Basayev, and Aslan Maskhadov.

Programs – Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Global

Louisa Greve
Vice President, Programs – Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Global

Louisa Greve is Vice President for Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Global Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she previously served as Director for East Asia, Senior Program Officer, and Program Officer. She has studied, worked, and travelled in Asia since 1980 and has testified before Congressional committees on human rights in China and democracy promotion in Asia. She was a member of the AEI/Armitage International Taiwan Policy Working Group (2007) and the Council on Foreign Relations Term Member Roundtable on U.S. National Security – New Threats in a Changing World (2002). 

Ms. Greve served as a member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA from 1993 to 1998, and was a volunteer China and Mongolia specialist for Amnesty from 1990 to 1999. She served two terms as a member of the Virginia State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2007-2011).

Brian Joseph
Senior Director, Asia and Global

Brian Joseph is Senior Director for Asia and Global Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy.  He served as Director for South and Southeast Asia programs at NED from 2005 to 2009.  In this capacity, he oversaw millions of dollars worth of grants to hundreds of civil society organizations in the region. He travels regularly to the region. Brian has spoken widely and written about Burma, Pakistan, Thailand, human rights in Asia, and democracy promotion in closed societies.

Brian has testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, provided high-level briefings for State Department officials, and taught at the Foreign Service Institute. Brian formerly served as a volunteer South Asia regional coordinator for Amnesty International USA and he is a member of the International Human Rights Funders’ Group and the Burma Donors’ Forum. He has a BA in History from Colorado College and an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Laith Kubba
Senior Director, Middle East and North Africa

Programs – Planning, Grants Management, Compliance, and Evaluation

Georges Fauriol
Vice President Programs -Planning, Grants Management, Compliance, and Evaluation

Georges Fauriol has been Vice President, Programs -Planning, Grants Management, Compliance, and Evaluation, at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) since 2010. He joined NED from one of its core implementing institutes, the International Republican Institute (IRI), where he initially served as Vice President of Strategic Planning and later as Senior Vice President. In 2004 he also served as IRI’s Acting President.

Prior to joining IRI in 2001 Fauriol occupied a number of positions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), notably after 1992 as Director and Senior Fellow of the Americas Program, leading the Center’s work on Western Hemisphere issues – the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and Canada. During his CSIS tenure he also worked as the assistant to the Chairman of the Center’s board of trustees, Ambassador Anne Armstrong. He is currently a CSIS Senior Associate. Previously, Fauriol also worked at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He has extensive international and cross-regional field experience, including sixteen election observation missions in Eurasia, Africa, Asia, and Caribbean Basin region.

Fauriol is the author or coauthor of several books and more than 70 publications, has testified before congressional committees, and appeared in media interviews, including the PBS NewsHour, BBC, and other outlets. He holds MA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Keith Burton
Senior Director of Compliance

Myriam Fizazi-Hawkins
Director, Grantmaking Resource Center

Nancy Herzog
Senior Director, Grants Administration



Laura Golightly
Senior Director of Finance

Human Resources and Administration

Sheri L. Melvin
Senior Director of Human Resources and Administration

A Certified Benefits Professional (CPB), Sheri Melvin has 22 years of human resource experience, serving most recently as Director of Human Resources at XM Satellite Radio. She has also served as a Senior Employee Benefits Representative at the Gillette Company, and held similar positions at Clark Construction Company and Schering-Plough Corporation. Sheri earned her BA in Behavioral Science at Drew University and her MS in HR Management from University of MD/University College.

International Forum for Democratic Studies

Marc F. Plattner
Vice President, Research & Studies
Co-Chair of the Research Council, International Forum for Democratic Studies
Coeditor, Journal of Democracy

Marc F. Plattner is founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, vice-president for research and studies at theNational Endowment for Democracy (NED), and co-chair of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies.

He served as NED’s director of program from 1984 to 1989. During the 2002–2003 academic year, he was a visiting professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has previously been a fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (1983–84); advisor on Economic and Social Affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations (1981–83); program officer at the Century Foundation (formerly the Twentieth Century Fund), a private foundation in New York City (1975–81); and managing editor of the Public Interest, a quarterly journal on public policy (1971–75).

Dr. Plattner graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and received his Ph.D. in government from Cornell University, where his principal area of study was political philosophy. 

He is the author of Democracy Without Borders? Global Challenges to Liberal Democracy (2008) and Rousseau’s State of Nature (1979), a study of the political thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau. His articles on a wide range of international and public policy issues have appeared in numerous books and journals. Over the past two decades, he has coedited with Larry Diamond more than twenty books on contemporary issues relating to democracy in the Journal of Democracy book series. The most recent are Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World (2014); Will China Democratize? (2013, also with Andrew J. Nathan); Democracy in East Asia: A New Century(2013, also with Yun-Han Chu); Liberation Technology (2012); and Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy (2012, also with Francis Fukuyama).

Larry Diamond
Co-Chair of the Research Council, International Forum for Democratic Studies
Coeditor, Journal of Democracy

Larry Diamond is the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and the co-chair of the Research Council of theInternational Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. At Stanford University, Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he also directs the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

During 2002–3, Diamond served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.

Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology at Stanford, where he teaches courses on comparative democratic development and postconflict democracy building, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers.” At the June 2007 commencement ceremony, Diamond was honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Diamond has lectured, taught, and conducted research in more than 25 countries. During 1982–83, he was a Fulbright visiting lecturer at Bayero University in Kano, Nigeria. In 1997–98, he was a visiting scholar at the Sun Yat-Sen Institute of the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. His research and policy analysis are focused on the relationship between democracy, governance, and development in poor countries, particularly in Africa.

Diamond is the author of The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008); Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq (2005); Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999); Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995); and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1988). He has edited more than twenty Journal of Democracy books with Marc F. Plattner, including recentlyDemocracy: A ReaderHow People View DemocracyLatin America’s Struggle for Democracy (also with Diego Abente Brun); The State of India’s Democracy (also with Sumit Ganguly); and Islam and Democracy in the Middle East (also with Daniel Brumberg). His other twenty edited books include the series Democracy in Developing Countries, with Juan Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset, and Political Change in China: Comparisons with Taiwan, with Bruce Gilley.

Christopher Walker
Executive Director, International Forum

Christopher Walker is Executive Director of the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of the theory and practice of democratic development. The International Forum pursues it goals through several interrelated initiatives: publishing the Journal of Democracy, the world’s leading publication on the theory and practice of democracy; hosting fellowship programs for international democracy activists, journalists, and scholars; coordinating the Network of Democracy Research Institutes, a global think tank network; and organizing a diverse range of analytical initiatives to explore critical themes relating to democratic development. Prior to joining the NED, Walker was Vice President for Strategy and Analysis at Freedom House, where he was responsible for devising overall strategy for Freedom House’s analytical projects on democratic development and media freedom. Prior to Freedom House, he was a senior associate at the EastWest Institute, and program manager at the European Journalism Network. Walker has also served as an Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at New York University. He holds a B.A. degree from Binghamton University and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal,New York TimesWashington PostForeign,Barron’sThe Far Eastern Economic ReviewEuropean Voice,Frankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungDie WeltThe Moscow Times,Politico.comJournal of Democracy, and World Affairs.

Sally Blair
Senior Director, Fellowship Programs

Before joining the NED staff in 2001 to establish the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program, Dr. Sally Blair worked as a program officer in the Jennings Randolph fellowship program at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She has taught courses on international relations at George Mason University and Stanford University’s semester program in Washington, D.C., and has held dissertation fellowships with the Fulbright-Hays exchange program, the Brookings Institution, the Kennan Institute, and Harvard University’s Academy for International and Area Studies.

Blair holds a masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Ph.D. in political science and Russian studies from Columbia University.

Phil Costopoulus
Executive Editor/Director, Journal of Democracy