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Tue, Dec 22, 2020

Death of Kharkiv mayor Kernes marks end of era

The recent death of long-serving Kharkiv mayor Hennadiy Kernes marks the end of an era for the eastern Ukrainian city and ushers in a period of political jockeying in the months ahead.

UkraineAlert by Brian Mefford

Coronavirus Politics & Diplomacy

Sat, Dec 12, 2020

National parties lose out to local candidates in Ukraine’s 2020 municipal elections

The 2020 Ukrainian local elections were a victory for local over national politics. 11 of 24 oblast centers were won by candidates who were either self-nominated or representing their own regional party.

UkraineAlert by Brian Mefford

Elections Ukraine

Wed, Nov 18, 2020

Mayoral races in Ukraine: City-by-city runoff preview

Ukrainians will vote this weekend to elect mayors in a number of big cities across the country as the current local election cycle comes to a close with incumbents heavily favored to do well.

UkraineAlert by Brian Mefford

Elections Ukraine

Brian Mefford is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Named by the Kyiv Post newspaper as one of the 20 “Most Influential Expats in Ukraine,” Mefford has lived and worked in Eastern Europe continuously for more than 20 years. He is currently the owner and founder of Wooden Horse Strategies, LLC, a governmental relations and strategic communications firm based in Kyiv.

Born in California, he is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas, with a bachelor’s of business administration degree with an emphasis in finance. After university, Brian worked in the banking and financial sector while building a political career. Mefford began his political work at the age of 16 and won his first elected office as a city alderman at the age of 18. He won his second office the following year to serve as a school board member. His political activities and campaign experience later resulted in his appointment by then Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education in 1997.

In the spring of 1999, Brian joined the International Republican Institute (IRI) as resident program officer in Kyiv, Ukraine. For over a decade, Mefford trained, advised, and consulted with thousands of political activists and governmental officials in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucasus, and Iraq. In 2009, Mefford managed an international consulting team working for Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko. Mefford speaks English, Ukrainian, and Russian.

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