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About Laura Thornton

Laura Thornton is director and senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. Prior to joining ASD, Thornton was director of global programs at International IDEA, a Stockholm-based intergovernmental think and do tank with the mission to advance democracy. She managed multiple teams across Europe focused on constitution-building, parliamentary process, elections, gender and inclusion, political parties, and democracy assessment and analysis. In this role she managed the Institute’s Global State of Democracy products, including a COVID-19 monitor tracking the impact of pandemic responses on democracy and human rights.

Thornton also worked at the National Democratic Institute for more than 20 years, serving in leadership positions across Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka) and in the country Georgia. She has written extensively about political party development, political finance and corruption, elections, and disinformation and has led multiple election observation missions across the globe. Thornton did her graduate work at Princeton University and Oxford University, and she earned her BA from Northwestern University.

What to Watch: ASD at GMF Experts Weigh in on US 2022 Midterms

Tomorrow’s midterm elections will be a benchmark for the state of American democracy. As early voting surges, people around the country (and the world) are watching to see what happens in what is perhaps the most important midterm election in recent [...]

Why Do Foreign Actors Want to Erode U.S. Democracy?

In 2016, 2018, and 2020, America’s foreign adversaries, such as Russia and Iran, attempted to influence the U.S. elections. Just last month, FBI officials warned of potential interference from Russia and China in the upcoming midterms, providing a t [...]

2022-10-20T16:37:38-04:00October 18, 2022|By |

A Simple Fix for U.S. Democracy

As any American expat abroad will tell you, living far from the United States gives you a clearer view. My 25 years overseas startled me with realizations about my country, from weird little things (why do we have so many types of breakfast cereal?) [...]

2022-04-29T14:59:00-04:00April 29, 2022|By |

What to Watch: ASD Experts Set the Stage for Biden’s Summit for Democracy

On December 9 and 10, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden will bring together leaders from 110 countries and governments for a virtual Summit for Democracy based around three key themes: defending against authoritarianism; addressing and fighting corrupt [...]

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