International Republican Institute
Lorne Craner returned to the International Republican Institute (IRI) as President in 2004 following his unanimous selection by IRI’s Board of Directors. He has led the strengthening of IRI’s programs in countries such as Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Iraq. IRI has broadened its work in governance, women’s participation, access for the disabled, the use of technology in democracy promotion and program evaluation, and has built an unprecedented level of cooperation with U.S. and foreign democracy building organizations since Mr. Craner’s return.
Previously, Mr. Craner was Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor for Secretary of State Colin Powell. Among other accomplishments, he initiated the first U.S. government programs to advance democracy in China, helped construct the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s “good governance’ criteria, sharpened the administration’s focus on human rights in Central Asia, and contributed to the conception and implementation of the administration’s approach to democratization in the Middle East. Upon his departure, Mr. Craner received the Distinguished Service Award, the State Department’s highest honor, from Secretary Powell.
From 1995 to 2001, Mr. Craner, as IRI’s President, led the institute to new levels of programmatic achievement, fundraising, financial accountability and news coverage. He joined IRI as Vice President for programs in 1993. From 1992-93 he served at the National Security Council as a Director of Asian Affairs under General Brent Scowcroft, and from 1989-92 was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under James Baker. Mr. Craner was Senator John McCain’s legislative assistant (LA) for foreign policy from 1986-89; he began his career as then-Congressman Jim Kolbe’s foreign policy LA.
Mr. Craner sits on the board of directors for Internews Network and the policy board of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has testified on numerous occasions before House and Senate Committees. Mr. Craner graduated from Georgetown University (MA), Reed College (BA) and Phillips Exeter Academy.