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Margarita R. Seminario is the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) regional director for the Americas. She is a democracy and governance specialist with more than 20 years’ experience collaborating with local partners in organizational capacity development, policy reform initiatives, and civil society engagement. She has significant experience in legislative strengthening and development, legal reforms, inclusive policy reforms, citizen engagement and transparency and accountability.
At IFES, she is the responsible for Guatemala programming. She manages a sub-award from Counterpart International, “Participation Civica,” to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to play a constructive role in policy initiatives and conduct social auditing, and the “Electoral Governance Reforms Program,” to strengthen the capacity of the Electoral Tribunal and increase participation of persons with disabilities.
Seminario has dedicated herself to promote strong and resilient institutions and encourage citizen participation and engagement. Prior to joining IFES, she worked with IREX, as senior technical advisor on media and anticorruption program development; with Chemonics, as a director of the Democracy and Governance Practice on economic growth and democracy projects; with the House Democracy Partnership of the U.S. House of Representatives, liaising with 15 partner legislatures organizing peer-to-peer exchanges; and in multiple positions with the Center for International Development at the State University of New York, implementing legislative strengthening programming in Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.
Seminario holds a master’s degree in comparative public administration and development from the State University of New York. She is fluent in Spanish, and has working knowledge of French and Italian.