Sentell F. Barnes joined the International Republican Institute (IRI) in 2013 and currently serves as Resident Program Director, Tanzania, based in Dar es Salaam. Sentell also has over 15 years of experience working with political parties, elected officials, and building coalitions among elected officials and advocacy groups to support legislative priorities. 

Prior to his arrival in Tanzania, Mr. Barnes severed as Resident Program Director for Southern Africa where he managed IRI’s program activities in eight countries, as Resident Program Director in Nigeria where he worked to strengthen the political party primary process in the country and Resident Program Officer in South Sudan managing political party development. Under his leadership in Nigeria, IRI played an instrumental role in bringing political party leaders together to sign a peace accord ensuring a peaceful election process and transfer of power. He has also worked to support and ensure the inclusion of youth, women, and persons with disabilities in political processes. Mr. Barnes has served in key positions during both the 2019 and 2015 International Election Observation Mission in Nigeria. Prior to joining IRI, Mr. Barnes worked for several United States elected officials including Governor Don Siegelman (Alabama), Senator Richard Shelby (Alabama) and Congressman Tom Feeney (Florida) and a for large banking trade association. His most recent Congressional position was as Legislative Assistant for Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, for the office of whom he managed the Congressman’s Financial Services Committee and Joint Economic Committee portfolio. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Auburn University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Auburn University Montgomery and was a fellow with the United Nations Alliance of Civilization and the British Council’s Trans-Atlantic Network 2020 (TN2020). He is married and has a son.  

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