National Endowment for Democracy welcomes new fellows from eleven countries

Mar 27, 2013, 17:55 ET from National Endowment for Democracy

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is pleased to announce its Spring 2013 cohort of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows and Visiting Fellows.  In residence are leading practitioners, journalists, and scholars from Bahrain, Burma/Thailand, Cambodia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, and the United States.

The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program seeks to increase the knowledge, enrich the skills, broaden the perspectives, and boost the morale of some of the world's most committed and courageous democratic activists and scholars.  The program is housed at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, NED's research and publications arm, in Washington, D.C.  Named in honor of NED's two principal founders, former president Ronald Reagan and the late congressman Dante Fascell, the program has enabled over 180 fellows from more than 80 countries to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change.

Additionally, the International Forum hosts a small Visiting Fellows Program for scholars and practitioners who conduct independent research and writing in residence on an unfunded basis.


Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu (Ghana) is founding president of the International Institute for ICT Journalism, an Accra-based organization that promotes journalistic innovation throughout Africa.

Mr. Abdulrazaq Alkali (Nigeria) is executive director of the Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Disease and Social Vices (YOSPIS), a nongovernmental organization that promotes civic education and peace-building initiatives among youth in Nigeria's Kano state.

Ms. Nadira Eshmatova (Kyrgyzstan) is co-founder and executive director of the Youth Human Rights Group (YHRG), a Bishkek-based nongovernmental organization that monitors and reports on human rights abuses in Central Asia.

Mr. Matar Ebrahim Matar (Bahrain) is a well-known political activist who served as Bahrain's youngest-elected member of parliament, representing its largest constituency.

Mr. Frank Rusa Nyakaana (Uganda) is a senior program officer at the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), a $120 million basket fund initiative established by eight European partners to support democracy, human rights, peace-building, anti-corruption and access to justice in Uganda.

Dr. Fouzia Saeed (Pakistan) is director of Mehergarh, an Islamabad-based human rights and democracy center that conducts training and research on youth activism and empowerment.

Dr. Irma Sandoval-Ballesteros (Mexico) is associate professor at the Institute for Social Research and director of the Laboratory for the Documentation and Analysis of Corruption and Transparency at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Mr. Thet Sambath (Cambodia) is a renowned documentary filmmaker and journalist with the Phnom Penh Post.

Mr. Joseph Tucker (United States) served most recently as the negotiations team leader in the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan at the U.S. Department of State.

Nang Lao Liang Won (Burma/Thailand) is co-founder of the Migrant Assistance Programme (MAP), a grassroots NGO that works with migrant workers from Burma.

A complete list of the 2012–2013 Fellows and their bios can be found online at

SOURCE National Endowment for Democracy