Local Responses to Libya’s Instability

January 27, 2016 - 2:30 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Washington, DC
Local Responses to Libya’s Instability

A conversation with:
Jeffrey Vanness
Democracy and Governance Field Advisor
US Agency for International Development


Jakob Wichmann
JMW Consulting

Moderated by:
Karim Mezran
Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

Since its 2011 revolts and the overthrow of former ruler Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has experienced a series of weak governments, internal fighting factions, and extremist violence. In the attempts to resolve Libya’s complex political and security challenges, the voices of Libyan citizens often go unheard. 

Please join the Atlantic Council for a discussion with Jeffrey Vanness and Jakob Wichmann. Wichmann will present his findings from a nationwide survey conducted in Libya in August and September 2015, and Vanness will respond to the survey’s results from a US government perspective.    

The survey includes representative samples for Tripoli, Misrata, and Benghazi, allowing for a comparison of perceptions and demonstrating differences in attitudes in Libya. The survey, conducted through phone interviews with 2,507 Libyan respondents, was commissioned by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Topics explored include political efficacy and engagement, preferences for the future constitution, gender issues, perceptions of local and national actors, evaluation of public services, perceptions of armed groups, and responses to insecurity.

On Twitter? Follow @ACEventsLive and @ACMideast and use #ACLibya to join the discussion.

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record.

VISITING THE COUNCIL:Metro and parking info 


Jeffrey Vanness serves as Democracy and Governance Field Advisor with the Elections and Political Transitions Division of the US Agency for International Development's (USAID) Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance. Vanness served as USAID’s first Democracy Officer in Tripoli in 2012, where he coordinated US support around Libya’s first national election in more than four decades. Prior to joining USAID in 2011 as Senior Governance Advisor for USAID/Bangladesh, he worked for the International Republican Institute, the Center for International Private Enterprise, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Vanness holds an MA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in international affairs at George Washington University.

Jakob Wichmann is a consultant for Social Impact and a partner at JMW Consulting. Wichmann has over 15 years of experience implementing and evaluating programs related to democracy and governance, economic growth, and humanitarian assistance. His democracy and governance experience includes work in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Among other projects, he recently completed a comprehensive assessment of the state of public service delivery in countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Angola, Timor-Leste, and Egypt. Wichmann holds MAs in political science from Essex University and Aarhus University.

Karim Mezran focuses on the processes of political change in North Africa at the Hariri Center. As a distinguished Libyan-Italian scholar, Mezran brings significant depth of understanding to change in Libya and elsewhere in the region. In addition, he is currently an Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he teaches courses on the history and politics of North Africa. Previously he was Director of the Center for American Studies in Rome. Mezran holds a PhD in international relations from SAIS, a JD in comparative law from the University of Rome "La Sapienza," an LLM in comparative law from the George Washington University, an MA in Arab studies from Georgetown University, and a BA in management from Hiram College.