Dianna Margaret James

Resident Program Director, Timor-Leste
Dianna Margaret James Headshot

Dianna has over two decades of experience designing and managing democracy and governance initiatives, including complex programming in countries in transition and crisis. She has substantive expertise in digital development; elections; political parties; women’s political participation; civil society strengthening; promoting integrity in media and information environments; and human rights.

Dianna joined the International Republican Institute (IRI) in 2020, having previously worked with the U.S. Department of State/Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; The Asia Foundation; National Democratic Institute; and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in the U.S., Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Dianna serves as the Resident Program Director in Timor-Leste with IRI for democracy and governance grants focused on parliamentary strengthening, leadership training, and voter education and election observation. She brings strong relationships with the Government of Timor-Leste, the National Parliament and civil society organizations. Dianna has an M.A. in Gender and Development with a focus on Governance from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Dianna was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and arrived in Dili, Timor-Leste in November 2020.

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