Chris Yonke

Program Director, Thailand
Chris Yonke Headshot

Chris is a political campaign and elections person at heart. His political career involved organizing and executing political campaigns, managing over 400 volunteer activists, travelling with Party Leaders to provide strategic advice, and preparing Party Leaders for public debates and media events. He has been an accredited International Election Observer for six elections (Ukraine, Tunisia, Mozambique) for CANADEM, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), National Democratic Institute (NDI), and IRI.

Prior to this posting he was the Mission Director / Political Parties Long Term Analyst for IRI advising the U.S. Embassy Election Observation in Mozambique. In this role he led a multinational team to advise on a Diplomatic Election Observation in every province of Mozambique. Previously he served as IRI’s Senior Political Party Advisor in Tunisia. In that role he developed and managed training programs for multiple parties and developed a Youth Leadership Program.  Before working for IRI, Chris spent over 10 years in politics and government in Canada plus time in the private sector. Past positions have included Director of Regional Affairs to the Minister of National Defense, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Special Assistant to the Premier of Nova Scotia, Campaign Director for the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, and Owner of a global consulting business. Later in life Chris joined the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve Force. Upon completion of training, he deployed to Latvia as part of a nine-nation NATO Battle Group and was decorated for service.

In Canada, Chris was an avid volunteer dedicated to improving lives for people with special needs. He served as National President for the Canadian Progress Club, a service organization founded in 1922 with 27 member clubs across Canada; Board Member for Special Olympics Nova Scotia; and Chair of Kingsmeadow Residence Society residential care facility.

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