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Program Staff: Democracy Program

David Carroll, Ph.D.

David Carroll leads the Carter Center's initiative on developing standards and best practices in international election observation. He has managed or participated in more than 70 Carter Center projects to strengthen democracy and electoral processes around the globe in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Carroll joined The Carter Center in 1991 to serve as the assistant director of the Latin America and Caribbean Program. Since 2003, he has directed the Center's Democracy Program, playing a key role in the Center's work to build consensus on international standards for democratic elections, as rooted in states' obligations in international and regional human rights law.

He received his Ph.D. in international relations from the University of South Carolina, has published articles and book chapters on development and democratization, and has taught at the University of South Carolina, Georgia State University, and Sewanee - the University of the South.

Avery Davis-Roberts
Associate Director

Avery Davis-Roberts manages the Center's Democratic Election Standards Project, which seeks to develop the criteria by which observers assess a democratic process. She has worked on Carter Center election observation missions in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. She gained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Brett Lacy
Associate Director

Brett Lacy has worked on election observation and democratic governance projects since 1999 in more than a dozen countries. Before returning to The Carter Center in 2010, she managed civil society, political party, conflict mitigation, media, women's participation, and legislative-strengthening programs for the National Democratic Institute in West Africa. She has also worked with International Foundation for Electoral Systems, International IDEA, and the International Organization for Migration to contribute to the development of standards for the participation of refugees and internally displaced persons in post-conflict elections.

Lacy previously served at the Center from 2000 – 2003, contributing to programming in Timor-Leste, Nicaragua, Guyana, and Zambia as well as the Center's Democratic Election Standards program as an assistant program coordinator. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Duke University and a master's degree in international administration from the University of Denver's Graduate School of International Studies.

Elizabeth Plachta, J.D.
Associate Director

Elizabeth Plachta works on the program's Democratic Election Standards project and elections-focused efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has been with the Center since 2010 and has supported election observation missions in Libya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Sudan. Prior to joining the Carter Center, Plachta was a consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, where her work included assisting with programming efforts on prison reform in southern Sudan, supporting a counter-piracy program in Kenya, and participating in prison and security-sector assessment missions in southern Sudan and Ghana. While in law school, Plachta focused primarily on international and human rights law and was involved in international law practica on women's rights in Tanzania, rule of law in Liberia, and international criminal tribunals. Plachta earned a joint bachelor’s in international affairs and Spanish from Georgia Tech and a law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Erika Lee
Program Assistant

Erika Lee joined The Carter Center in 2010 and currently offers logistical and administrative support to the Democracy Program's projects as a program assistant. Before 2014, she devoted most of her time to administrative and logistical support for the Center's Human Rights House and governance projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Human Rights Defenders Initiative. Lee has her bachelor's degree in history and classical culture and her master's in nonprofit organizations with a focus on arts administration, both from the University of Georgia.

Jonathan Stonestreet
Associate Director

Jonathan Stonestreet joined The Carter Center in September 2014. Previously, he was the senior election adviser with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, Poland. From 1997 to 2003, he worked on democracy and human rights issues as part of the OSCE's field mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has also worked as an election consultant in various countries, including Albania, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Tunisia, and Ukraine.

Stonestreet earned his bachelor's degree in government and philosophy from the College of William and Mary in 1987 and a master's diploma in international humanitarian assistance from Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain, in 1996.

Rachel Lastinger
Program Associate

Rachel Lastinger joined The Carter Center in November 2017. She currently works on the Center’s Citizen Observation Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and previously worked on the Center's Election Observation Mission in Nepal. Lastinger holds a master's degree in Development Practice from Emory University, where her research focused on human rights and gender, and a bachelor’s in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. Lastinger's previous work and research has taken her to Ethiopia, South Africa, and Nepal, and she has worked for various organizations including World Vision and the Institute for Developing Nations.

Sarah K. Johnson
Associate Director

Sarah K. Johnson manages democratic governance and election observation activities for The Carter Center, with a principle focus on the Middle East and North Africa region for over a decade. Prior to joining the Center, she implemented political party programming in Morocco and the oPt, and conducted campaign strategy and survey research in the U.S., Middle East and Europe. She has professional experience in political party building, communications, women's political participation, and public opinion research. Johnson served as a resident country director for the MENA division of the International Republican Institute, as a senior analyst for Greenberg Quinlin Rosner, and as a White House Intern. She holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and another master's in European sciences from the Humboldt and Frei universities in Berlin, Germany. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Travis Linger
Program Associate

Travis Linger began working at The Carter Center in 2014 and currently works on the Myanmar project. Originally from Buckhannon, West Virginia, He has been involved with various nonprofits in Denver and Seattle, including Outdoor Youth Connections and International Rescue Committee. In 2011, he worked for a nonviolence education center in northern India while also teaching English and math to Tibetan refugees. The following year, Linger spent his honeymoon working with Karenni refugees along the Thai-Burma border. Linger earned a bachelor's degree in history from Shepherd University and a master's degree in international studies from the University of Denver.

Tynesha Green
Program Assistant

Tynesha Green has been the Democracy Program's program assistant since 1997 and provides logistical and administrative support to the program and its election missions. She has served on Carter Center missions to Nigeria, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Mozambique, Guyana, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya. She attended the University of California at Riverside, where she majored in economics with a minor in administrative studies. Green previously worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the asset disposition department.

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