Senior Fellow for Inclusive Governance

Stafford A. Ward is the Rainey Center’s Senior Fellow on Inclusive Governance focused on re-instituting basic civic virtues and good governance into our American democracy. He has experience as a U.S. diplomat, a defense policy strategist, and as an analyst of federal and state elections policies.

Stafford served overseas as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for nearly nine years at the U.S. Department of State serving at U.S. Embassy Seoul, U.S. Embassy Jakarta, and at U.S. Consulate Johannesburg. He also worked on energy policy issues, and conducted foreign policy oversight of U.S. Foreign Military Sales at the State Department before transferring over to the DoD. At the DoD, he engaged U.S. Congressional staffers on U.S. Code Title 10 funded counter-terrorism programs in East Africa, and in the Middle East.

In his spare time, Stafford also specialized on U.S. absentee and overseas voting as Secretary of the Board at the U.S. Vote Foundation, and as an election technology policy analyst at the Open Source Election Technology Institute. He served as a panelist on elections accessibility at the 2018 U.S. Elections Assistance Commission Summit in Washington, D.C. He was also a member of the Election Verification Network (EVN) where he briefed its membership on secure elections hardware and software to other EVN members. In addition, he served as an elections judge/officer for three counties in Northern Virginia for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 federal, state, and local elections. 

Stafford obtained his Bachelor’s in Management Information Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, and a Master’s in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. Immediately after graduating from SAIS, he founded the Sejong Society of Washington, D.C. to assist young professionals to learn more about the political and economic relationship between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea. He has a working language fluency in Korean and Indonesian. 


November 19, 2020
The Case for a New Federal Elections Governance Agency

The preliminary results of the 2020 U.S. general elections unfortunately demonstrated that election administration officials at the state and local level across the United States faced a tremendous onslaught of challenges and attacks against a basic function of democracy: the ease for voters to cast a ballot.

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