Jenai Cox is IRI’s regional deputy director for Africa. She brings 20 years of experience working on rule of law, human rights and governance programs in closing and closed environments. As the deputy director, she oversees the implementation of a diverse range of projects in more than a dozen counties in sub-Saharan Africa with support to political parties, good governance, civil society, elections, youth leadership and countering violent extremism. 

Cox joined IRI in 2018 as the administrative director of the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS). As the administrative director, she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of CEPPS and served as the direct point of contact to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington and with Missions on all administrative and agreement matters under the Global Elections and Political Transitions LWA. Cox also supported the CEPPS management team to build consensus among the CEPPS partners on administrative matters. 

Prior to joining CEPPS, Cox served as the acting director for Africa programs at Freedom House. Her duties included designing innovative human rights and civil society projects as well as providing strategic leadership and oversight of staff in Washington, D.C. and five field offices. She also briefed U.S. government officials and members of Congress on human rights issues in sub-Saharan Africa to inform U.S. foreign policy impacting the region. 

Ms. Cox holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and economics and a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution from American University. 

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