Ryota Jonen

Director, World Movement for Democracy

As the Director for the World Movement, Ryota Jonen leads a global network of democracy activists, human rights defenders, and practitioners. Since 2007, Ryota has led the World Movement’s Defending Civil Society project, which addresses issues related to restrictive environment for civil society around the world.  Through the project, he has built a strong global coalition of experts and civil society activists that protect and advocate for enabling civil society space. He also helped create the Community of Democracies Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society in 2010, and he currently serves as a member of the Working Group.

Since he joined the World Movement in 2000, Mr. Jonen has contributed to developing the World Youth Movement for Democracy, which runs the Hurford Youth Fellows Program and involves over 8,000 young democracy activists around the world in various activities.  Mr. Jonen was also instrumental in establishing the Africa Democracy Forum (ADF), an African regional network of democrats.  He assisted the ADF in partnering various civil society groups across the region for its efforts to ratify the African Union’s African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Before joining the World Movement, he worked with non-governmental organizations in Switzerland and Liberia, developing human rights education and post-conflict reconciliation programs.  He has a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University in Washington, DC.