Liza Prendergast is a specialist in democracy and development. For nearly two decades, she has strengthened global partnerships and successfully designed evidence-based programs to advance democracy and peace in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Education as well as the governments of the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Switzerland. She speaks and writes regularly on issues of democracy and foreign policy, including for the 2023 Learning Forum at the invitation of USAID, TASC Ireland Annual Lecture, and World Congresses on Civic Education in Jordan, Morocco, Poland, Indonesia, and Argentina. She has lectured at the University of Vermont, Georgetown University, and James Madison University. She is author of Confronting a Global Democracy Recession: The Role of the United States International Democracy Support Programs, a chapter in Democracy’s Discontent and Civic Learning. Her work focused on democracy assistance and U.S. policy has been featured in Forbes.
Currently, Liza Prendergast serves as the Vice President of Strategy & Technical Leadership at Democracy International (DI). Over the last decade, she has worked with citizens, civil society leaders, government officials, political parties, academics, or others in Albania, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Jamaica, Kosovo, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and elsewhere. She led DI’s technical design and partnerships development for the $20 million Justice, Rights, and Security Rapid Response (JURIS) Activity and for multiple Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contracts, including for Programming for Prevention and Peacebuilding (P4P2), Active Communities Effective States (ACES), and Monitoring Support Project (Afghanistan). Previously, she served as a Technical Specialist in Civil Society and Governance at World Learning, where she supported political transitions in Egypt and Myanmar and led social accountability and youth empowerment work across the Middle East and North Africa. From 2005 to 2011, she served in increasingly senior positions at the Center for Civic Education, where she advocated in the U.S. Congress for the Education for Democracy Act. She managed the Campaign to Promote Civic Education, a national effort to improve civic education in the United States, and Civitas International programs in Africa (Senegal), Europe (Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo), Latin America (Argentina), and the Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, West Bank/Gaza, Yemen). She has observed elections in Myanmar with The Carter Center and in Egypt with DI.
Ms. Prendergast currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Civic Education. She holds an M.A. in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University, where she graduated with distinction, and a B.A. in History from George Washington University. She served as the first Board Chair of the Georgetown Democracy and Governance program Alumni Association.