March 14 Program
Richard W. Soudriette
President, Center for Diplomacy and Democracy
“The Importance of Democracy Promotion as a Pillar of U.S. Foreign Policy”
Richard W. Soudriette is the President of the Center for Diplomacy and Democracy in Colorado Springs. He served as founding President of IFES, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, from 1988 to 2007. Under Mr. Soudriette’s leadership, IFES grew into one of the premier organizations offering technical assistance in the areas of elections, civil society, rule of law, and governance. He played a key role in launching networks of elections officials in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. While heading IFES, he served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion during 2006 -2008.
Prior to joining IFES, Mr. Soudriette served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman James M. Inhofe (R-OK), Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, and Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Affairs Council of Colorado Springs, and the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Treasurers and Election Officials (IACREOT).
In 2011 Mr. Soudriette received the Global Citizen of the Year Award from the Pikes Peak Chapter of the United Nations Association. He is the coeditor of Every Vote Counts: The Role of Elections in Building Democracy by the University Press of America and is the author of numerous articles and publications on democracy and elections. He is a guest lecturer at the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Mr. Soudriette is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.