The Atlantic Council has named Brian Mefford, a Kyiv-based business and political consultant with more than fifteen years of experience in Eastern Europe, as a nonresident senior fellow in its Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. Mefford will join the Council’s growing team supporting its Ukraine-in-Europe Initiative. A long-time observer of Ukrainian politics, Mefford will bolster the Council’s analysis of domestic Ukrainian politics.

“Brian is an astute and independent observer of Ukrainian politics and he is joining the Council at a moment of Ukraine’s greatest challenge since independence,” said Eurasia Center Director Ambassador John Herbst. “His years of on-the-ground experience will be a valuable contribution to the Council’s crucial work on Ukraine.”

Mefford’s work in Ukraine began in 1999 when he became a resident program officer at the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Kyiv. For more than a decade, he trained, advised, and consulted thousands of political activists and governmental officials in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia on political party development, grassroots organizing, membership recruitment, fundraising, communications, public relations, and public opinion research. Following his appointment as country director for Ukraine, Mefford opened IRI’s office in Odessa.

In 2009, Mefford managed an international consulting team in Ukraine, and subsequently established the Committee for Open Democracy, a nonprofit organization that monitors international elections for their adherence to democratic norms. Mefford has observed more than twenty-five elections in seven countries.

Mefford’s firm advises Western businesses on conducting business in Ukraine while assisting Eastern European businesses to export to the West. In 2010, the Kyiv Post named Mefford one of the twenty “Most Influential Expats in Ukraine.” 

At the Eurasia Center, Mefford’s deep expertise in Ukrainian domestic politics will support the Council’s Ukraine in Europe Initiative programming as well as the Council’s Ukraine Alert newsletter.

Related Experts: