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IRI and McCain Institute Welcome Female Politicians from DRC to Take Part in Next Generation Professionals Program

March 30, 2015

Washington, DC The McCain Institute for International Leadership, in partnership with IRI, sponsored five women from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take part in the Next Generation Professionals (NGP) program from March 13 through March 27.  This program was made possible by the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and its Africa Great Lakes Peace Initiative. Throughout the course of the two weeks, participants gained in-depth knowledge on the ethics, values and ethos of leadership.  They also focused on learning the basic techniques and tactics of running an effective electoral campaign.

 American leaders shared their experiences while offering valuable advice, skills and inspiration. The NGP program is a highly condensed version of The McCain Institute’s leadership development experience focused on a single professional activity.

“I have never met a more impressive group of leaders with varied political perspectives, but united in the determination to create a better future for their country,” said Ambassador Michael Polt, McCain Institute Senior Director of the Next Generation Leaders Program. “Our spirited engagement with these five courageous women met their and our priority goals of targeted, condensed training for a unique purpose — in this case electoral politics.  We look forward to their successful competition in the upcoming elections and their efforts to serve the interests of the people of the DRC.”

The McCain Institute supports the aspirations of rising leaders from around the world, in particular rising leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  In 2014, The Institute initiated the North Kivu Democracy Project, which aims to promote a more transparent democratic and electoral process in that troubled province.  To expand this effort, The McCain Institute hosted an NGP program for the Congolese women. 

“We believe that when women participate as decision makers, the economic and social well-being of their country grows, and more inclusive governing and peace building processes take root. No democracy can be representative if it fails to listen to half its citizenry. No democracy can prosper unless it taps into all of its talent for the leadership it needs. Women help democracies reach their potential," said Ambassador Mark Green, President of IRI.

IRI has been active in DRC since 2011 and is currently partnering with the National Parliamentarians Women’s Caucus. IRI’s work in DRC is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.

The McCain Institute for International Leadership is a center for research and action in national security and foreign policy. It seeks to promote leadership and decision-making, in the best American tradition of open inquiry, spirited discussion and practical action. Through its policy research, events, fellows programs, and other activities, the Institute aims to inform, convene, train and assist current and future leaders from the United States and abroad.

A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, IRI advances freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, assisting citizens to participate in government planning, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth.  Established in 1983, IRI programs have reached more than 100 countries in every region of the world.