Christopher Walker

Vice President for Studies and Analysis

Christopher Walker is Vice President for Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy, an independent, nonprofit, grant-making foundation supporting freedom around the world. Walker oversees the multidimensional department that is responsible for NED’s analytical and thought leadership efforts, which pursues its goals through several interrelated initiatives: the leading edge work of the International Forum for Democratic Studies, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to map and explore critical themes relating to democratic development, including in the modern information and emerging technology spheres; the Journal of Democracy, the world’s leading publication on the theory and practice of democracy; the Reagan-Fascell fellowship program for international democracy activists, media professionals, and scholars; and the Center for International Media Assistance that is dedicated to improving efforts to promote independent media in emerging democracies and developing economies around the world.

Prior to joining the NED, Walker was Vice President for Strategy and Analysis at Freedom House. Walker has testified before legislative committees in the U.S. and abroad, appears frequently in the media, and frequently conducts briefings on critical issues relating to democratic development. He has been at the forefront of the thought leadership on modern authoritarian influence on open political systems, including through the exertion of sharp power, a concept he and his colleagues developed.

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 writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, El Pais,, Foreign Policy, and the Journal of Democracy. He is co-editor (with Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner) of Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy (2016), co-editor (with Jessica Ludwig) of Sharp Power: Rising Authoritarian Influence (2017), and a co-editor with William J. Dobson and Tarek Masoud of the book Defending Democracy in an Age of Sharp Power (2023).