Laura Nichols is the Senior Resident Director for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Armenia. Her international experience spans four countries over nine years, building on a career in leadership roles in Canadian politics.
Ms. Nichols previously served as the Resident Country Director for NDI’s field offices in Liberia, Yemen and Kosovo to support elections, strengthen political parties, work with parliament and increase citizen engagement to enhance the transparency and integrity of electoral and constitutional reform processes.
In Liberia, Ms. Nichols managed a multi-faceted elections program that included voter education, public opinion research, grassroots voter mobilization, training for women candidates, and support to domestic election monitors; she also oversaw efforts to provide support and technical assistance to Liberia’s political parties following the 2017 election. In Yemen, Ms. Nichols designed and implemented a comprehensive public opinion research program to assess the attitudes of Yemenis at key moments in the transition process to inform transition leaders and stakeholders, and supported citizen engagement in key processes. In Kosovo, Ms. Nichols initiated innovative programming including Week of Women, an annual women’s leadership academy, and, with the Assembly of Kosovo, an annual program to commemorate and celebrate International Day of Democracy.
Prior to joining NDI, Ms. Nichols worked in politics in Canada for twenty years, serving at provincial and national levels of the New Democratic Party (NDP). In addition to working as Provincial Secretary and Executive Director for both the BC and Alberta sections, she served as Chief of Staff for three NDP opposition party leaders in provincial legislatures and Chief of Staff for former NDP leader Alexa McDonough in Canada’s national parliament. In these roles, Ms. Nichols managed numerous political and issue advocacy campaigns, served as a key member of party leadership committees, and developed grassroots organizing and fundraising initiatives for the party. Ms. Nichols’s government experience includes serving as Chief of Staff for the Minister of Finance, and as a policy analyst in the office of the Premier of British Columbia.
Ms. Nichols has a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Alberta.