Chief of Party, Guinea
Elizabeth Côté has developed and led a successful civil society and elections strengthening program in Guinea. Her communication and analytical skills enabled her to bring together all sectors of Guinean society in a national forum to identify ways to work together toward developing their country, defining civil society and determining its role in Guinea.
IFES has implemented many of the strategies identified by this national forum. Among these are: the establishment of a national civil society organization with an umbrella structure to facilitate networking and advocacy for the liberalization of airwaves, nationwide civic education campaigns and the first local elections observation network.
Prior to working in Guinea, Côté managed an IFES program in Côte d’Ivoire and coordinated a women’s rights program in Mali for the Canadian NGO CECI. In her home country, Canada, she operated a communications firm and published a book on the access of farm women to agricultural land. Côté has worked closely with civil society organizations and government representatives to lobby for legislative reforms and promote women's participation in the electoral process. In an effort to empower citizens at a grassroots level, she initiated several programs that included training media, parliamentarians and locally elected women. In an ongoing search for political and social stability in Guinea, Cöté continues to promote dialogue processes amongst all sectors of society including the military.
Côté holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada.