Lorne W. Craner, President
Lorne Craner returned to IRI as President in 2004 and has since led the strengthening of IRI’s democracy assistance programs in countries such as Burma, China, Colombia, Kenya and Tunisia. IRI has become the industry leader in encouraging women’s political participation, and in program monitoring and evaluation. IRI has also broadened its work in governance and the use of technology in democracy assistance, built an unprecedented level of cooperation with U.S. and foreign democracy building organizations, and held its most successful fundraisers, since Craner’s return.
Previously, Craner was Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Among other accomplishments, Craner initiated the first U.S. government programs to advance democracy in China, helped construct the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) “good governance” criteria, sharpened the administration’s focus on human rights in Central Asia, and contributed to the conception and implementation of the administration’s approach to democratization in the Middle East. Upon his departure, Craner received the Distinguished Service Award, the State Department’s highest honor, from Secretary Powell.
From 1995 to 2001, Craner, as IRI’s President, led the Institute to new levels of programmatic achievement, fundraising, accountability and news coverage. He joined IRI as Vice President for Programs in 1993. From 1992-93 he served at the National Security Council as a Director of Asian Affairs under General Brent Scowcroft, and from 1989-92 was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under James Baker. Craner was Senator John McCain’s legislative assistant (LA) for foreign policy from 1986-89; he began his career as then-Congressman Jim Kolbe’s foreign policy LA.
In 2013 Craner received Senate confirmation for a third time, to MCC's Board of Directors; he had previously served on the board from 2007-2010. He also serves on the board of Internews, the policy board of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, and on the George W. Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Advisory Council. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has testified more than two dozen times before House and Senate committees. Craner graduated from Georgetown University (MA), Reed College (BA) and Phillips Exeter Academy.
Lorne’s Speeches, Testimony and Writings:
Egypt at a Crossroad (PDF)
Good Foreign Aid Helps U.S. Taxpayers, Deseret News
U.S. Must Work to Prevent Radicalization, The Indianapolis Star
Support for Burma's Democrats is Not Meddling, South China Morning Post
We Did Not 'Meddle' in Mexico – They Asked for Our Help, The Guardian
Democracy in the Middle East: Will U.S. Democratization Policy Work? (PDF), Middle East Quarterly
A False Picture of Aristide, The Washington Times