NDI Names Birgitta Ohlsson New Director For Political Parties

Friday, March 27, 2020

Today, the National Democratic Institute announced former Swedish MP and Minister of European Affairs, Democracy, and Consumer Rights Birgitta Ohlsson as the new director for the Institute’s Political Parties program. “We are thrilled to welcome Birgitta to the NDI team,” said NDI President Derek Mitchell. “She brings a broad range of experience and a unique perspective to our work. Birgitta has served at every level of politics-- as a youth party leader, member of parliament, minister, editorial writer, and advocate for human rights, including gender equality. I am delighted Birgitta will be spearheading our critical global work in support of political party development for years to come.”
“After 20 years in Swedish and European politics, with a strong international commitment, I feel truly inspired to join NDI,” said Ohlsson. “With authoritarian leaders globally on the rise, political parties that strongly defend democracy, human rights and open societies are more important than ever. NDI is a global frontrunner in this field.”
Ohlsson comes to NDI from the communications agency, Prime Weber Shandwick in Stockholm, where she serves as a senior advisor for sustainability issues. From 2018-2019, Ohlsson served as a Commissioner in the Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability, and Cultural Change that reviewed NGO culture, politics, and practices related to safeguarding staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Previously, as a member of the Swedish parliament for twelve years, Ohlsson was the spokesperson for the Liberal Party and sat on the foreign affairs committee. Reflecting a decades-long commitment to international development, Ohlsson served on the board of the Swedish International Development Agency, and has led NDI election observation missions in Europe and the Middle East. Ohlsson is also a columnist, author and commentator, and is a noted public speaker on gender equality and leadership.

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