by Dr Graeme Ramshaw, WFD’s Director of Research and Evaluation The international development community has been going about its governance support work all wrong. At least, that is what political thinker Karl Popper would have said. For decades, UKAid and others have been focused on the question of who should govern, deploying significant resources to […]
Ex-UK Ambassador Matthew Hedges to be WFD’s Regional Director for Asia and the Americas
Matthew Hedges, who was until recently Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Paraguay, will take the reigns as Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s Regional Director for Asia and the Americas in September 2020. He will be responsible for the strategy, programming and team management across both regions.
Matthew joins Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) following two decades as a British diplomat. Before serving as Ambassador to Paraguay, he was Deputy Ambassador to Myanmar. He has also worked in India, Japan, Morocco, Iraq,Turks and Caicos, and at the UK Mission to the UN in New York.
Matthew also spent two years as a senior clerk in the House of Commons, working with the International Development Select Committee. He holds a master’s degree in public policy (MPP) in International Relations from Princeton University.
Commenting on his appointment, Matthew Hedges said:
“I am delighted to be joining Westminster Foundation for Democracy at a time when we have the opportunity to re-think the world we live in and to put democracy and rights at the heart of how we ‘build back better’. I worked for several years in both Asia and the Americas, so I am especially excited to get back to work in these important regions.”
Chief Executive of Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Anthony Smith CMG, said:
“I look forward to welcoming Matthew into the WFD family. His leadership skills and experience inside the UK government will be important as we respond to the urgent need for more inclusive, transparent and accountable democratic governance in our partner countries.”
Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) is the UK public body dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world. WFD currently has offices in 10 countries in Asia and the Americas, working with parliaments, civil society, and political parties to help make democracies more inclusive and accountable.
Examples of our programmes in Asia include providing training to first-time women MPs elected in late 2017 in Nepal, to help them overcome the additional challenges they face due to gender bias and supporting the Fundamental Rights Committee of Myanmar’s Hluttaw (parliament) to investigate fishery workers rights and consider potential policy solutions to improve them.
A strong, healthy democracy needs constant care and attention, even in good times. During a crisis we need to be even more vigilant. The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt democracy, amid a long-term trend of democratic decline. However, we know that democracy is key to solving the major challenges facing the world in 2020. Democracy can […]
WFD’s Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year 2019-2020 was laid in the UK Parliament today, 10 September 2020. In 2019-20, WFD ran 81 programmes in 47 countries. We launched new programmes in countries such as Sudan, where we trained women political leaders in negotiating to help them play an important role in the […]