Eric Bjornlund is a lawyer who has designed and directed democratic development programs in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East in the areas of international and domestic election monitoring, political party building, legislative development, constitutional and legal reform, decentralization, civil-military relations, civic education and civil society advocacy. He is a co-founder and principal of Democracy International, a firm that designs, evaluates and provides technical assistance for democracy and governance programs worldwide.
Mr. Bjornlund has particular expertise on democratization and governance in Indonesia. He currently directs programs in support of local elections and national policy reform in Indonesia. In 2004, he served as Field Office Director in Indonesia for the Carter Center and directed a comprehensive election monitoring program for the country’s first direct presidential elections. He was Country Director in Indonesia for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in 1999-2000.
Mr. Bjornlund worked for more than a decade for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in various senior positions in Washington and overseas, including Senior Associate and Asia Director (1994-95, 1996-2000), Country Director in Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) (1995-96), Director of Program Development & General Counsel (1992-95), and Senior Program Officer (1989-92) as well as Country Director in Indonesia. He has worked with President Carter and the Carter Center on election monitoring programs in Palestine (2005, 1996), Mozambique (2003), Indonesia (2004, 1999), and Zambia (1991). From 2000 to 2001, he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Mr. Bjornlund has written and spoken extensively about transitional elections, democratization, legal reform and international democracy promotion. He is author of Beyond Free and Fair:Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy (Washington, Baltimore and London: Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), which explores the history and evolution of international and domestic election monitoring and offers insight into how the international community can more successfully advance democracy around the world. He has testified on many occasions before Congress and the United Nations and has spoken at conferences and universities throughout the world. Mr. Bjornlund has appeared on television and radio in the U.S. and abroad, including on BBC, C-SPAN, CNN, National Public Radio, Voice of America and others.
From 1984 to 1988, Mr. Bjornlund practiced corporate and international law at Ropes & Gray, one of the largest law firms in the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Williams College, a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University.