John S. Cavanaugh, director of NDI's Cambodia program, has worked in government, politics and democracy promotion for more than twenty-five years. In New Hampshire, Cavanaugh worked on presidential, congressional and state political campaigns, and later directed bipartisan economic development and natural resource conservation initiatives. During his tenure in U.S. politics, Cavanaugh developed a specialized and applied knowledge of grassroots organization, political communications and intergovernmental relations, which informs his overseas work in international development today.
Prior to his position in Cambodia, Cavanaugh spent several years directing USAID political development and peacekeeping initiatives in Nepal, Indonesia, and Eastern Europe. Most recently, Cavanaugh served as Chief of Party of the USAID’s inclusive resource management initiative in the western Terai region of Nepal, and before that directed a sub-national political party and civil society strengthening project in Indonesia, focusing on the post-conflict provinces of Aceh, South Sulawesi and Maluku.
In addition to these assignments, Cavanaugh has directed local governance, fiscal transparency, civil society development, citizen outreach and political party support initiatives in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Turkey. In Macedonia, Cavanaugh oversaw a nationwide public opinion polling program and worked extensively with local civil society organizations to advance the participation of women, youth, and minority subgroups, in political and government institutions.
Cavanaugh has participated in election observation missions in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Liberia, Nigeria and Macedonia, and participated in the 2010 World Movement for Democracy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Cavanaugh holds a bachelor of arts degree in government from Dartmouth College.