UkraineAlertJul 27, 2023
Ukraine must not forget fight against corruption while battling Russia
By Brian Mefford
The Ukrainian fightback against Russia's invasion has won the admiration of the watching world, but corruption continues to threaten the country from within and could undo any battlefield success, warns Brian Mefford.
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 24 years. He is currently the owner and founder of Wooden Horse Strategies, LLC, a governmental relations and strategic communications firm based in Kyiv. For his humanitarian efforts to help Ukraine during the war, he was named a “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Association of Charities of Ukraine in 2023.
Mefford started his work in Ukraine with the International Republican Institute (IRI) in 1999, as a resident program officer. 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.
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, Mefford worked in banking and local politics, serving as an alderman and school board member. He was appointed as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education in 1997 by Governor Mike Huckabee. Mefford speaks English, Ukrainian, and Russian.