Chief of Party, Nepal
Elizabeth Côté currently serves as IFES Chief of Party in Nepal. She brings more than two decades of work with civil society and election management bodies to the position.
Prior to working in Nepal, Côté developed and led a successful civil society and elections strengthening program in Guinea. She 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 programs that included establishing civic education centers; supporting citizen engagement in local governance; and increasing elected officials’ accountability.
In a constant search for political and social stability during Guinea’s recent political transition to democratic rule, Côté promoted dialogue processes – through a national forum – among all sectors of society including the military, while providing continuous support to the organization of presidential and legislative elections.
The national forum allowed citizens to identify ways to work together toward developing their country, defining civil society and determining its role in Guinea. IFES 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.
Before Guinea, Côté led IFES’ civic education program in Côte d’Ivoire and coordinated a women’s rights program in Mali for the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation.
In her home country of Canada, she operated a communications firm and published a book on the access of farm women to agricultural land. Côté holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada.