Former International IDEA Staff

Erin C. Houlihan

Former Programme Officer
Constitution-building processes and constitutional governance; post-conflict transitions and democratization; human rights; rule of law


Erin Colleen Houlihan is a Programme Officer with the Constitution-Building Programme at International IDEA.

Houlihan supports governments and civil society actors engaged in constitution-building processes around the word. Her research and advising work focus on fragile and conflict-affected contexts, and particularly on democratization and post-conflict transitions. She provides technical support to in-country constitution reform efforts in the areas of process design and constitutional content, including support to forge political consensus around contentious issues. Houlihan also develops global comparative knowledge products, policy and advocacy resources, and educational materials on comparative constitutional concepts and issues. Houlihan founded the annual Women Constitution-Makers Dialogue series in partnership with the Political Settlements Research Programme of the University of Edinburgh. She also manages tools and databases related to both process and design matters, including the Database on Constitution-Building Processes in Conflict-Affected States and the Public Participation Platform.

Prior to joining International IDEA, Houlihan spent a decade serving in a variety of senior advisor and leadership roles with country-based rule of law, human rights, community cohesion and good governance assistance programmes. She was based primarily in conflict-affected countries in the Middle East, East/Horn of Africa, and South Central Asia. Houlihan is also a former teacher specializing in assisting students with disabilities. She holds a Juris Doctor and an MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and an MA in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University.

Selected articles, Op-eds and publications:


Social media

Engage on Twitter:  @echoulihan1

Juris Doctor (University of Virginia, U.S.A.), MA in Foreign Affairs / International Relations (University of Virginia, U.S.A.), MA in Special Education (Loyola Marymount University, U.S.A.), BA in psychology (University of Virginia, U.S.A.)