The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will honor Tamar Zhvania, chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia, with its 2017 Joe C. Baxter Award.
The honoree will receive the award at a special ceremony to be held on October 2 in Washington, D.C.
"Tamar Zvhania’s commitment to excellence in election administration in Georgia is impressive. [Her commitment] was evident in the successful implementation of the recent parliamentary elections and Georgia’s ongoing democratic transition”, said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney.
Zhvania has been the chairperson of the CEC in Georgia since September 2013. IFES said that under her leadership, the CEC has conducted credible elections and continued to professionalise its election management efforts. She was appointed with the endorsement from major political forces, as well as from civil society groups. IFES has partnered with the CEC on the development of a gender policy, an electoral integrity management plan, and on electoral security measures.
"I am excited to be nominated by the IFES for the Joe C. Baxter Award. Great achievements are nurtured with the cooperation of many minds with a common vision working toward a common goal. I would like to express my sincere gratitude toward my election administration colleagues in Georgia, as together we managed to achieve special accomplishments. This success would not be possible without the support of the international community”, Zhvania said.
The annual Joe C. Baxter Award recognises the contributions of election professionals whose skills, dedication and sacrifices to the field of election administration epitomise the mission of IFES and embody the spirit of former IFES Senior Adviser for Election Administration Joe C. Baxter.
Past recipients include former President of Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections Chafik Sarsar (2016); Australian election management expert Michael Maley (2015); former Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone Dr. Christiana Thorpe (2014); Professor of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University in Denmark Jorgen Elklit (2013); former Chairman of the Philippine Commission on Elections Christian Monsod (2012); Argentine campaign finance expert Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio (2011); former Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan (2010); and Spanish elections expert Dr. Rafael Lopez-Pintor (2009).