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John G. Tomaszewski

Regional Director, Africa

John Tomaszewski ("JT") is the International Republican Institute's Regional Director for Africa. In this capacity, he leads the overall strategic direction and management of IRI's multi-million-dollar project portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tomaszewski currently oversees active IRI projects in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. He also leads ongoing IRI regional projects in southern Africa and the Sahel.

Tomaszewski is a democracy and governance specialist who has directed a range of IRI projects throughout Africa focused on legislative and political party strengthening, youth and gender inclusion, campaign management, public affairs and subnational governance among others. Tomaszewski's regional specialization is East Africa, where he was the Institute's Nairobi-based country director from 2012-2015 leading projects in Kenya and South Sudan as well as an IRI East Africa regional governance initiative. He also helped to open the Institute's first country office in Tanzania in 2015.

Tomaszewski started with IRI as a Juba-based Resident Program Officer (2009-2010) and later Deputy Country Director (2010-2011) preparing political parties and aspiring candidates for Sudan's first multi-party elections in more than 20 years, the country's independence referendum, and post-independence political party and governance initiatives. IRI transferred him to Egypt in 2011 to be the Cairo-based Director of Political Parties and Training (2011) and then Deputy Country Director (2012), supporting IRI's projects to prepare Egyptians for their first legislative elections after the country's historic January 25 revolution.

Throughout his tenure at IRI, Tomaszewski has helped expand the Institute's global initiatives for women and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa known as the Women's Democracy Network and Generation Democracy respectively. He participated in IRI international election observation missions and election assessments in several African countries including Egypt (2011/2012), Ghana (2016), Kenya (2013/2017), Nigeria (2015), and Somaliland (2010).

Tomaszewski has served as a guest lecturer for IRI at American University's Campaign Management Institute as well as the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute. He continues to be an expert panelist and speaker on a myriad of African democracy and governance issues. In May 2016, he testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on "Democracy Support Strategies in Africa."

Tomaszewski worked for the Crisis and Litigation Practice at LEVICK Strategic Communications in Washington, D.C. before joining IRI. He built the foundation for his communications and political experience through his five years as a public affairs and legislative policy professional for two members of the U.S. Congress and a principal communications advisor for their congressional campaigns. Tomaszewski has a Master's Degree from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and a Bachelor's Degree from Ramapo College in New Jersey.