Shawn Beighle, Chief Information Officer

Beighle tests equipment for reporting election observations in real time during Liberia’s 2005 presidential election.

Shawn Beighle joined IRI in November of 1999, and currently serves as the chief information officer (CIO) for the Institute.  Prior to being named CIO, Beighle served as the sole dedicated information technology staff member supporting all aspects of IT and telecommunications for IRI’s Washington, DC based headquarters.  Later, he was named the director of information technology and charged with building a full-service IT department, while also taking on the additional duties of supporting IRI’s overseas office operations.  While the IT department was being built, Beighle also executed the operational expansion and ongoing maintenance of systems as the Institute more than tripled in size.

Since his arrival, Beighle has transformed IRI’s IT infrastructure and capabilities to serve not only the operational capacity of IRI’s headquarters, but also all of IRI’s overseas offices.  Serving well beyond the role of a traditional IT department, Beighle has integrated the combined skill set of his department into nearly all of IRI’s operations, including finance, procurement, inventory control, security, office planning and construction, event management, fund raising, communications, audio/visual, personnel and knowledge management.

Beighle has also worked with IRI’s program staff to develop and use new technologies to support the Institute’s core mission − democracy promotion.  As an example, Beighle and his team developed an integrated voice response (IVR) system that allows IRI’s election observers to relay in real-time reports on conditions observed at polling stations.  Since this system’s inception, IRI has used it in 12 election observation missions, from the 2010 elections in Afghanistan to the 2008 elections in Nigeria.  IRI was nominated for a 2008 Golden Dot Award from George Washington University, and won the 2008 Speech Technology Magazine Implementation Award for the IVR system.

Over the past 10 years, Beighle has worked on election observation missions in Afghanistan, Liberia, Macedonia, Nigeria and Ukraine.  In addition, he has completed assessment trips, provided direct technical consultations with partner organizations, executed complete office infrastructure overhauls and provided training to IRI staff and partners in Cambodia, Cuba, Indonesia, Iraq, Timor-Leste and Venezuela.

Prior to joining IRI, Beighle served as the IT manager for Soren, McAdam & Bartells, Certified Public Accountants, supervising the IT operations for both their Riverside and Redlands, California offices.

Beighle is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy, where he served as a telecommunications/IT specialist. 

You can follow Shawn @sbeighle.

Shawn’s Speeches, Testimony and Writings:

Using Technology to Help Strengthen Democracy