STOCKHOLM – The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance’s (International IDEA) Council of Member States has selected Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora as the Institute’s new Secretary-General.
Dr Casas-Zamora, a Costa Rican national, will start his five-year term on 1 August 2019.
International IDEA’s new Secretary-General is currently Senior Fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, DC-based policy research centre, as well as member of the Presidential Commission for State Reform, managing director at Analitica Consulting (Analitica Consultores), and university professor in political science and history in Costa Rica.
Dr Casas-Zamora brings more than 25 years of experience in democratic governance as a researcher, analyst, educator, consultant and public official. He embodies the rare combination of a distinguished academic career—strongly focused on electoral systems and democratic institutions—with practical experience as a high-level public official in his home country as well as multilateral organizations.
Previously, he was Costa Rica’s Second Vice President and Minister of National Planning; Secretary for Political Affairs at the Organization of American States; Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; and National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report. He has taught at Georgetown University, George Washington University and at the University of Texas at Dallas, among many other higher education institutions. As one of the world’s leading experts in campaign finance regulation, Dr Casas-Zamora was one of International IDEA’s senior consultants on political finance, electoral processes and political parties.
The new Secretary-General holds a Law degree from the University of Costa Rica, a master’s in Latin American Government and Politics from Essex University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oxford. Among his many awards, he was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2007.
Dr Casas Zamora will be the fifth person to hold the position of Secretary-General at the 24-year-old intergovernmental organization and will be its first leader from Latin America.