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Annika Silva-Leander

Annika Silva-Leander

Head of North America and Permanent Observer of International IDEA to the United Nations

Dr Annika Silva-Leander is Head of North America at International IDEA where she oversees International IDEA’s outreach in the region, its engagement in the Global Democracy Coalition, and its work in support of the Summit for Democracy. She is also International IDEA’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, representing International IDEA at the UN General Assembly as a leading voice and advocate on democracy. She heads International IDEA's offices in Washington, DC and New York, USA.

As an opinion-builder on democracy, she also contributes to the global democracy debate through her analysis and speaking engagements on the state of democracy globally, in the context of the UN and other global fora of relevance to the global democracy discussions.    

Between 2018 and 2021, Silva-Leander was the Head of the Democracy Assessment Unit in Stockholm, where she led International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy report, as lead author, editor and Programme head. She also oversaw the production of the annually updated Global State of Democracy Indices and the implementation of the Covid-19 Global Monitor on Democracy and Human Rights. From 2015 to 2018, she worked as the Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General of International IDEA.

Prior to joining International IDEA, Silva-Leander worked for 10 years as a Social Development Specialist at the World Bank, on civic engagement and poverty reduction in Asia, Latin America and Africa. During her nine years in Asia, she worked for the World Bank, UNICEF and UNDP. She started her career at the AVINA Foundation in Costa Rica, managing grants to civil society organizations in Latin America.

Annika Silva-Leander is a member of the Advisory Board for Georgetown University’s Department of Government MA Programs (American Government, Conflict Resolution, and Democracy & Governance).

She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a Swedish-Chilean global citizen who grew up in France.

You can follow Annika on her Twitter account: 


Global democracy assessment and measurement; civic space; impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on democracy; governance and development; multilateralism and democracy.
PhD in Social Policy (London School of Economics, UK); MPhil in Development Studies (University of Sussex, UK); MSc in Latin American Public Policy (University of Oxford, UK); BA in Political Science (University of Stockholm, Sweden)
English, French, Spanish, Swedish
New York, USA and Washington, DC, USA
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