NED Welcomes Ayalde, Cha, Frazer, and Kleinfeld to Board of Directors

(From left to right) Liliana Ayalde, Victor Cha, Jendayi Frazer, and Rachel Kleinfeld

On January 7, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Board of Directors elected four new members to serve three-year terms: Liliana Ayalde, former US Ambassador to Brazil and Paraguay and USAID and State Department veteran; Victor Cha, former National Security Council Asia official and senior scholar at Georgetown University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Jendayi Frazer, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Ambassador to South Africa; and Rachel Kleinfeld, founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar (Read full bios below).

“We are delighted to welcome this distinguished group of new directors to NED,” said Endowment Chairman Kenneth Wollack. “Their experience, expertise, and deep and abiding commitment to our mission of supporting democracy will benefit the work of NED and the efforts of our partners around the world.”

“These remarkable, diverse, new board members bring decades of experience grappling with the challenges posed by autocrats and kleptocrats around the world. They will reinforce our efforts to ensure NED and its partners meet this historic moment for democracy around the world by innovating and adapting for the future,” said NED President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson.

The NED Board of Directors also recognized the many contributions of Barry Jackson and Jayne Kurzman, who retired from the NED Board after nine years, both having served the maximum three terms. “Jayne and Barry shared a passion for our mission and commitment to our institution. They made valuable and meaningful contributions over the last nine years to help guide NED at a time of organizational growth and change,” said Wilson. “Their leadership and engagement will be missed by all of us on the Board,” said Wollack. Kurzman, who served as both NED Secretary and Chair of the Budget and Audit committee, will continue to serve on the Budget and Audit committee.

Marlene Colucci, Executive Director of the Business Council, was elected NED’s new Secretary, joining Chairman Ken Wollack, Vice Chairs David Skaggs, Karen Bass, and Peter Roskam, and Treasurer Michele Dunne, who were all re-elected as officers. Jessica Adelman, Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Global Communications at the Mars Corporation, was appointed to Chair the Budget, Audit, and Administration committee.

AFL-CIO President Elizabeth Shuler also stepped down from the NED Board after becoming Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Solidarity Center, one of NED’s four core institutes. “Liz brought the energy and perspective of the labor movement to the heart of our work supporting democracy around the world,” said Wilson.


The 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 support 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 by 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.


Ambassador Liliana Ayalde retired from the U.S. Foreign Service following a distinguished 38-year career dedicated to foreign affairs, development, defense, and security in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently, Ambassador Ayalde was the civilian deputy to the commander and foreign policy advisor at the United States Southern Command in Miami. She served as the U.S. ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil (2013-2016) and U.S. ambassador to Paraguay (2008-2011). Previously, Ambassador Ayalde was deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs at the Department of State, and the senior deputy assistant administrator for the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau for the United States Agency for International Development. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including USAID’s Distinguished Career Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Honor Award, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award given to a civilian by the Department of Defense. She is currently a non-resident Senior Advisor to the Americas Program at CSIS.

Victor Cha is the Vice Dean and D.S. Song-KF Professor of Government in the School of Foreign Service and Department of Government at Georgetown University. He is also Senior Vice President and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He was appointed in 2021 by the Biden administration to serve on the Defense Policy Board in an advisory role to the Secretary of Defense. He formerly served on the National Security Council from 2004 to 2007, where he focused on Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand and Pacific Island nation affairs. The author of five books, Cha is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, former Olin Fellow at Harvard, and former Hoover, CISAC, and Koret Fellow at Stanford.

Jendayi Frazer is the Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution Stanford University, adjunct senior fellow for Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the president and chief executive officer of 50 Ventures, a private consulting and investment company that seeks to elevate Africa’s global standing by investing in governance, education, enterprise, and stability. Previously, Frazer was a distinguished public service professor at Carnegie Mellon University and served as the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2005 to 2009. As special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2004, she was sworn-in as the first woman U.S. ambassador to South Africa. She has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by the secretary of state, in recognition of her public service.

Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow with the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served for a decade as the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, for which Time magazine named her one of the top 40 political leaders in America under 40 in 2010. From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Kleinfeld served on the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the Secretary of State quarterly, and currently sits on the National Task Force on Election Crises.


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