Promoting and defending democracy at home and abroad!

The International Association for Democracy (IAD) is an NGO that works to defend and advance democracy around the globe. We link people with their governments and lobby governments to promote, strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions, processes, norms and values at home and abroad. We also work towards raising public awareness about the current state of democracy around the world and what should be done to better defend and promote democracy. Our actions are guided by promoting and advancing democracy with respect for the culture, history and development of the state itself.

With the number of authoritarian countries on the rise, we campaign for a world where democracy and freedom flourish, where people’s voices are heard. We believe that everyone should be able to cast their vote in free and fair democratic elections, and influence the direction and future of their respective state. Free, open and peaceful expression of opinions is an essential component of any democracy. The rule of law must be respected: all citizens should be equal before the law and equally accountable to the law. Human rights are inalienable and must be universally protected.

IAD was founded by a group of individuals from across Europe, who were alarmed by an increasing threat to democracies around the globe and the weak response of the EU and other Western democratic nations in defending democracy internationally. Some of the recent events that drove us to take action were: the passage of the Hong Kong national security law; the fall of the democratically elected government in Afghanistan; the erosion of the rule of law and democratic values in Hungary and Poland; and most recently Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. In each case, we felt that the EU, its member states and other Western democratic nations did too little to support and defend democracy.

Meet the team

Click on a team member's name or title for more details.

Board of Directors

Valeria Bortă

Founder & Director

Valeria is passionate about international relations and security. She gained professional experience of over two years on small arms and light weapons control at the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, within the United Nations Development Programme. Additionally, in the lead up to the Russian illegal invasion of Ukraine, she worked at the European Union Delegation to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Having been born in the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine’s neighbour, the war in Ukraine is of particular concern to her.

Oliver St. John

Founder & Trustee

After completing his master’s degree in International and European Relations, Oliver has gained extensive experience in the fields of diplomacy and international relations, having worked in different roles (including as a Policy Officer) for two embassies. In his current role as the Strategic Partnerships Executive for a British charity, he works to strengthen bilateral relations between the UK and Germany. Oliver has long felt that more needs to be done to defend democratic values and strengthen democracies around the globe and as a result proposed founding IAD to achieve this goal.

Hermione Kent 

Secretary


Hermione is from the UK and is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in History and Politics, with plans to proceed to Masters level. During this time, Hermione has established a particular interest in international security and policymaking. Specifically, much of Hermione’s work focuses on Russia and Russian political history, examining the effect this has had on Russia’s current foreign affairs. Hermione strongly believes that both raising civic awareness of what a true democracy looks like and increasing civic engagement are crucial to legitimate modern democracies.

Alex 

Treasurer


Alex works at HSBC leading new technology initiatives, and has an economics and software development background. He is also a volunteer Police Officer in the Metropolitan Police, and was a First Aid Responder with St John Ambulance. Alex believes that IAD can make a terrific impact in promoting democracy at every level, from the grassroots and up through to policy-making.

Core Team

Vincent Busch

Design Lead

Vincent studies Communication, Multimedia and Game Design in the Netherlands.

With a lifelong interest in geopolitical developments and a strong belief in a democratic world order and liberal values, he perceives a need to counteract contemporarily rising authoritarian threats to freedom and human rights. Because of that he joined a pan-European federalist party in 2019, and is now helping the IAD find its way to the spotlight.

Charles David

Social Media Lead

Charles is French and German and has had the privilege to grow up in a multitude of countries. This multicultural and multilingual background pushed him to study political science at the University of Amsterdam and then pursue an internship at the European Parliament before starting his Master's degree in the field of International Security. He passionately believes and wants to advocate for conflict resolution, diplomatic practices, and the implementation of democratic institutions and processes. He considers that it is essential to accept intersectionality and be culturally sensitive so that we strive for a more peaceful path within international relations.

Halima Larwanou

Social Media Deputy Lead

Halima is a multilingual student in international relations, born in Niger but raised in Kenya. She is currently studying in Spain and is passionate about promoting humanitarian aid and advocating for equality and peace. Halima has volunteered with various NGOs that focus on preventing child marriage and other important causes. She strongly believes that raising awareness is a critical step towards driving change and making a positive impact in the world.

Alice Arimoro

Website Design Lead

Alice is a skilled web design professional with a passion for promoting democracy and civic engagement in Africa. With years of experience volunteering for various organizations, she has a deep commitment to making a positive impact in her community. 

She has a degree in English Language from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In her role at IAD, Alice is committed to using her skills to help promote democracy and civic engagement.