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.
Amanda Woomer works on the program's mining governance project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Amanda joined the Carter Center in early 2014, working in both Atlanta and in the field as a monitoring & evaluation assistant and then as an interim program manager. Prior to joining the Center, Woomer was an education & research intern for the Wildlife Connection in Tanzania. She has also worked as a knowledge manager in the for-profit sector. Woomer earned her Bachelor of Science in international affairs and French from Georgia Tech and her Master of Arts in anthropology from Georgia State. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in international conflict management at Kennesaw State University and has conducted research on intercultural competency and conflict-sensitivity in NGO programming.
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.
Ben Spears joined the Democracy Program in 2016. He works on election observation and transition monitoring missions in the Middle East and North Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Spears worked with Ultimate Peace, a peer-to-peer sports initiative in Israel/Palestine. He also coordinated outreach for Congressman John Lewis’ Atlanta office. Ben has degrees from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Georgia State University in Atlanta.
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.
Senior Program Associate
Dottie Hunt works on the ELMO project within the Democracy Program. She previously worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the library's user experience department. She is pursuing additional graduate studies in the field of human and computer interaction. Her research interest includes the intersection of data visualization and user interaction. Hunt holds a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in music, both from Wesleyan College.
Elizabeth Plachta, J.D.
Senior Program Associate
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 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.
Erin Crysler currently manages the Human Rights House and Mining Governance projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She joined The Carter Center as an intern in 2007. As an assistant program coordinator, she worked on the 2008 election observation mission in Ghana and a capacity-building initiative for African Union election observers. Prior to joining the Center, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin focused on secondary education, gender equality and AIDS awareness. Crysler earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Georgia and her master’s in international affairs from Georgia Tech.
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.
Katelyn joined the Democracy Program in November 2015. She currently works on the program's Democratic Election Standards project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to joining The Carter Center, she was based at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in Kenya, where she initiated a project to train police officers on procedures for sexual violence survivors and supported a tribal communication program to eliminate child marriage and sexual violence. As a graduate student, Knapp held a FLAS Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Education in Kiswahili and East African studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education from Clemson University and a Master of Science degree in international educational development from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nandi Vanka joined The Carter Center in October of 2015. She currently works on the Center's Human Rights House project in Democratic Republic of Congo and previously contributed to the Center’s U.S. Elections project. Before coming to the Center, Vanka interned with the White House Council on Women and Girls and volunteered with victims of domestic minor sex trafficking in the metro Atlanta area. She holds bachelor’s degrees in international studies and French studies from Emory University.
Nicole Goodrich joined the Democracy Program in April 2016. She currently works on election observation and democratic governance projects. Prior to working at The Carter Center, Goodrich was with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. She organized and conducted the U.S. government’s interagency conflict assessments for Timor-Leste, Philippines, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, and Zimbabwe. In addition, she planned and facilitated Washington D.C.-based roundtables and workshops on conflict analysis and prevention for Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. She earned her master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution and her bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University in Washington, D.C. She also holds a master’s in teaching secondary social studies from Georgia State University and completed doctoral work at George Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Sarah K. Johnson
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 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.
Tye Tavaras joined The Carter Center in August 2015 and currently works on the Democracy Program's Democratic Election Standards project. A native of Atlanta, Tavaras holds a bachelor’s in international studies from Emory University, a master’s in international human rights law from The American University in Cairo, and a Juris Master focused on international law from Emory Law School. Prior to joining the Center, she served as a contributing writer for Mic and Ramel Media, a study-abroad advisor for Emory University, and an intern with the Center's Conflict Resolution Program. Tavaras also worked as the resident director in Jordan for the Critical Language Scholarships program. She is recently published in the University of Pennsylvania's Journal of Law and Social Change as a co-author of the article "Indiscriminate Power: Racial Profiling and Surveillance Since 9/11."
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.