Frequently Asked Questions
What is IRI?
Established in April 1983, IRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, democratic governance and the rule of law.
What type of work does IRI do?
For 30 years, IRI has been helping to spread democracy through workshops by volunteer experts from all over the world on political party and candidate development, democratic governance practices, civil society development, civic education, women’s and youth leadership development, electoral reform and election monitoring, and political expression in closed societies.
How many countries does IRI work in?
IRI has conducted programs in more than 100 countries and, along with the Women's Democracy Network, is currently active in more than 80 countries. When IRI began programming in 1984, the year after it was established, the institute worked in five countries – Bolivia, Colombia, Grenada, Guatemala and Portugal.
Where does IRI get its funding?
IRI is a 501(c)(3). IRI receives its funding through grants from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, a number of European foundations and aid agencies and other Western countries, and the United Nations. Less than one percent of IRI’s funding comes from private donations. IRI does not receive any money from the Republican Party.
Is IRI a part of the Republican Party?
No, IRI is a nonpartisan organization, not affiliated with any political party.
Who is the president of IRI?
Lorne W. Craner, IRI’s President, previously worked at the State Department, where he was Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. During his three years at the State Department, Craner helped conceive and implement the Bush administration’s new Middle East democracy policy, initiated the first U.S. government-funded efforts to advance democracy in China, and sharpened the administration’s focus on human rights in Central Asia. Craner previously served as IRI’s president from 1995 to 2001. Craner has also served at the National Security Council and on Capitol Hill.
Who is on the Board of Directors?
IRI’s Board of Directors is chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain and includes former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Berry Newman, former Presidential Envoy to Sudan Richard S. Williamson, former Chairman of the Republican Party Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., members of the U.S. Congress, and individuals from the private sector with backgrounds in international relations, business and government.
How many people work for IRI?
IRI employs more than 400 people worldwide. In addition, IRI organizes hundreds of volunteers for international training and election observer missions.