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Judy Van Rest

Executive Vice President

Judy Van Rest was appointed executive vice president for IRI on August 2, 2004.  She is the founder of IRI's Women's Democracy Network. She is a member of the Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council at the George W. Bush Institute and served on the board of the United States Institute of Peace from 2007-2013.

Previously, she served as senior advisor for governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), Baghdad, Iraq from April 2003 to July 2004 and as the CPA's director of the office of democratic initiatives.

Van Rest was appointed associate director for management and chief information officer at the Peace Corps in September 2001. In May 2002, Van Rest served as regional director for Europe, Mediterranean and Asia, managing and supporting more than 1,800 volunteers in 21 countries.  Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Van Rest was IRI’s Regional Director for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) programs from 1994 to 2001.

Van Rest served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from 1989 through 1992 and held management positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Smithsonian Institution and the Republican National Committee.  She was deputy to the special assistant to the president for White House intergovernmental affairs in 1981.

Van Rest began her career in a variety of communications positions, including as editor of the quartery political journal Commonsense and as a general assignment reporter for an Oklahoma daily newspaper, the Lawton Constitution/Morning Press.

Van Rest was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and graduated from the William Allen White School of Journalism, the University of Kansas, Lawrence.