IRI Welcomes New Board Members

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Paula Dobriansky, Cory Gardner, and Matthew Pottinger to join Board of Directors of the International Republican Institute (IRI)

Washington, DC – The International Republican Institute (IRI) today announced four new members of its Board of Directors: former U.S. Representative and Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, former U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger.

IRI also expressed its thanks to retiring board members Alison Fortier, Cheryl Halpern, and Joe Schmuckler for their service on the Board. “IRI is grateful to Ms. Halpern, Ms. Fortier and Mr. Schmuckler for their years of dedication to advancing IRI’s mission of fostering democratic dignity around the world,” said IRI President Dr. Daniel Twining.

“We are pleased to welcome this seasoned and esteemed group of foreign policy and national security leaders to our Board,” said IRI Chairman U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan. “As the world is witnessing a new era of authoritarian aggression, their individual and collective expertise will be an invaluable addition to the Institute and the cause of advancing democracy and liberty worldwide.”

The new members of the Board will bring a diverse set of experiences that include senior positions at the White House, the U.S. Department of State, and both chambers of Congress. They join an already impressive group of former and current public servants on IRI’s Board.

“Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, Ambassador Dobriansky, Senator Gardner and Mr. Pottinger have dedicated their careers to advancing U.S. interests grounded in respect for the democratic values that make our country great,” said Dr. Twining. “Their presence on the Board will strengthen our capacity to advance democracy worldwide at this critical time.”

Former U.S Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen served for almost three decades as a member of the House of Representatives from South Florida and was the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she became a leader in crafting U.S. foreign policy. She served as the Committee’s Chairwoman and as Chair or Co-Chair of multiple subcommittees.

Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs from 2001 to 2009. Dobriansky has held senior level positions in the U.S. government throughout her career, including Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. In 2007 she received the Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of her service as the President’s Envoy to Northern Ireland.

Former U.S. Senator Cory Gardner represented the state of Colorado in the United States Senate from 2015 to 2021. While in the Senate he was Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (2017-2018), and served on the Foreign Relations, Energy, Commerce, and Small Business Committees. He served as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2005-2010, and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015.

Matthew Pottinger served in the White House on the National Security Council staff, including as Deputy National Security Advisor from 2019 to 2021. He previously served as Senior Director for Asia, where he led the administration’s work on the Indo-Pacific region. Prior to his time in government, Pottinger spent the late 1990s and early 2000s in China as a reporter for Reuters and The Wall Street Journal and served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine during three combat deployments between 2007 and 2010. 

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