National Endowment for Democracy Welcomes Kirsten D. Madison as Vice President of Government Relations

NED Vice President of Government Relations Kirsten Madison

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has named Kirsten D. Madison as its new Vice President for Government Relations. Ms. Madison most recently served as the Director of Homeland Security for the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee minority staff under the leadership of Senator Rob Portman. She will join the NED staff on June 27, 2022.

“We are delighted to welcome Kirsten Madison to the NED leadership team to help us ensure the Endowment is fit for the future,” said NED President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson. “Kirsten brings deep relationships in the Senate and House, an impressive track record in senior management roles in the executive branch, practical knowledge of US assistance budgets, and a stellar reputation for integrity and excellence on both sides of the aisle. Most importantly, she is committed to NED’s bipartisan mission to support those struggling on the frontlines of democracy around the world.”

Prior to her most recent role in the Senate, Madison served as the Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, managing a bureau with $4.5 billion in appropriations, operations in 90 countries, a multinational network of law enforcement training academies, and a global workforce of several thousand direct hires and contract team members. [Read more about Kirsten Madison here.]

Her executive branch experience includes service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council, and the Director of International Affairs and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Kirsten also worked previously in the legislative branch, including as a Senior Professional Staff Member and Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Legislative Director and International Affairs Advisor for Representative Porter Goss.

Earlier in her career, Kirsten was senior advisor to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States and deputy director for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Goucher College and a Master of Science degree in Economics and European Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is an independent, nonprofit, grant-making foundation dedicated to the development and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. NED, along with four core institutes—the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the Solidarity Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise—provides assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and political processes, trade unions, free markets, and business associations, in addition to supporting a vibrant civil society that supports human rights, an independent media, and the rule of law. With an annual appropriation from Congress, NED funds more than 2,000 grants in 102 countries. NED’s grants program is augmented and enhanced by the work of the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a research center that publishes the Journal of Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy, and the Center for International Media Assistance.


Christine Bednarz, Director of Communications; (202) 200-6872,