Brian Joseph

Vice President, Programs

Brian Joseph is Vice President for Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy, a Congressionally funded nonprofit grant-making organization. In his capacity as Vice President, Brian leads a 112-person department comprised of seven geographic teams, three thematic initiatives, and an emergency response unit. He also manages the programmatic relationships with the Endowment’s core institutesthe National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the Solidarity Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Brian is responsible for managing an annual grantmaking budget of over $290 million that supports programs in over 100 countries. He is responsible for strategic planning, evaluation and assessment, and programmatic priority setting and institutional alignment. Brian has worked at the NED for over 25 years, where he started on the Asia team managing programs in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Tibet.

Brian teaches a graduate course on democracy assistance at Georgetown University’s Department of Government. He speaks widely about democracy-related issues and has appeared in a variety of media outlets including PBS NewsHour, the Diane Rehm Show, The World, CNN and Aljazeera, and his articles have been published in the Journal of Democracy, The Chronicle Review, The International Herald Tribune, and the SAIS Review. In 2021, he served as an expert on the US Institute of Peace’s Myanmar Study Group and was a founding participant in the Sunnylands Initiative, which brings together leaders across the Indo-Pacific to discuss challenges and opportunities for advancing democratic norms and governance in the region.

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

Brian’s areas of interest include democratic development, democracy assistance, authoritarianism, minority and human rights, political movements in authoritarian states, strategic planning, risk analysis, program design and methodology, philanthropy, and evaluation.