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The Carter Center Appoints Directors for Elections Programs

CONTACT: Julie Benz Pottie


The Carter Center has appointed directors for its Democracy Program and China Elections Program. Dr. David Carroll, formerly interim director of the Democracy Program, has been appointed director of the Democracy Program. Dr. Yawei Liu, formerly senior associate director of the Center’s China Village Elections Project and assistant professor at Georgia Perimeter College, has been appointed director of the China Elections Program.

The Democracy Program

The Democracy Program advances democracy worldwide through international election-monitoring; strengthening the capacity of civic organizations; and promoting the rule of law. The upcoming October elections in Liberia, the first national elections since the end of a 14-year civil war in August 2003, will be the Center’s 61st election in 25 countries.

“Dr. Carroll has been instrumental to the Democracy Program’s growth and in the successes of the Center’s many election projects,” said Dr. John Hardman, Carter Center executive director. “His leadership and expertise will benefit the program as we move forward with new initiatives to strengthen democracy worldwide.”

Dr. David Carroll joined The Carter Center in 1991 as assistant director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program. Since 1998, Carroll has managed Carter Center projects to strengthen electoral procedures, including long-term election observation and electoral reform programs in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Carroll is currently leading the Center’s initiative to establish best practices and common standards for election observation worldwide in conjunction with the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Dr. Carroll received his doctorate in international relations from the University of South Carolina and has studied and researched at universities in Puerto Rico, Germany, and Switzerland. He has been a visiting professor at Georgia State University and at the University of the South. The author of several book chapters and journal articles, Dr. Carroll's academic research interests include issues of democratization, development, and political economy.

The China Elections Program

In a 1998 groundbreaking agreement, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs granted The Carter Center permission to observe village election procedures; provide assistance in gathering election data, educating voters, and training election officials; and host Chinese officials to observe U.S. elections and other foreign elections. Since then, the program has distributed handbooks about the national procedures for villager committee elections; trained local election officials to foster better understanding of election procedures; exchanged delegations between the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Carter Center experts; and in 2002, launched the Web site to provide scholars, officials, and the public a resource for information on governance and election af! fairs and a platform for policy debate and idea exchange. The Program has also worked with the National People’s Congress in training elected people’s deputies, monitoring direct elections of people’s deputies, providing assistance in revising election procedures, and conducting election pilots.

“Dr. Liu has been essential in the development and success of the China Elections Program,” said Dr. Hardman. “Our activities in China are playing an important role at a time when China is seeking feasible and orderly means to transform politically.”

Dr. Yawei Liu joined The Carter Center in 1998. Dr. Liu has organized and participated in numerous delegations to monitor Chinese village and township elections and has been a member of Carter Center delegations to Nicaragua and Peru. Dr. Liu is the editor of the Web site and of a book series on local elections and governance in contemporary China.

Dr. Liu received his bachelor’s degree in history at the Xian Foreign Languages Institute in Shaanxi, China. He holds a master's degree in U.S. history with a focus on intellectual and cultural movements from the University of Hawaii and a doctorate in U.S. diplomatic history from Emory University. Dr. Liu is an associate professor of American history at Georgia Perimeter College.



The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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