Jeff Lovitt

  • Founder and Chair oNew Diplomacy, a non-profit association established in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2015 to address the policy challenges facing global and regional policymakers in the eastern and southern neighbourhoods of the European Union, not least the insecurity in the post-Soviet space and the crises of democracy and instability in the Middle East. He provides risk monitoring consultancy (Europe and Central Asia) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 
  • Specialist in participatory policymaking: Council of Europe expert on civil participation in political decision-making (2016-), and editor of Council of Europe studies on civil participation. He has provided advice, mentoring and training on participatory democracy and citizens' engagement to local authorities in Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia, and run trainings for public officials in Central Asia. He also conceived the first Open Government Partnership (OGP) Balkans Dialogue conference, held in Albania in 2015. Since September 2016, he has been a member of the International Experts Panel (IEP) that oversees the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). 
  • Manager of international civil society networks, leading communications and reputation management at Transparency International, and running a network of analysts as Executive Director of PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society) international think-tank network (2005-2015), running projects and fellowship programmes (for instance, successfully placing the goal of visa-free travel to the EU among the top priorities of the governments of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), serving as trainer in strategic communications for independent think-tanks, and editor and author of print and online publications. In 2012 and 2014, he was co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, and author of the Forum's first strategy. He was a Member of the Advisory Group on Media Freedom in Eastern Partnership, chaired by the Latvian EU Council Presidency (2015) and European Commission (2017). 
  • Communications expert: Native-English editor and journalist published in international media (The European, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Project Syndicate); communications and public relations professional (Director of Communications, Transparency International, 2000-2005); experienced public speaker and event moderator, trainer and facilitator.

  • Promoting Participatory Democracy and Effective Policymaking

    Jeff was Director of Communications at the Berlin-based international secretariat of Transparency International, the global anti-corruption NGO, from 2000 until leaving to become the first Executive Director of PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society), a network of independent think-tanks in Europe and Central Asia, upon its establishment in Prague in March 2005. 

    He ran PASOS from 2005-2015, where he conceived and managed projects linking up civil society actors in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia with independent think-tanks in Central Europe. In ten years, he built PASOS up as one of the leading civil society networks in Europe, handing over to his successor multi-annual projects based on contracts and grants worth more than € 1.5 million, including a four-year contract to provide foreign policy expertise to the European Parliament. Under his leadership, in 2015 PASOS achieved Transparify’s top (five-star) rating for funding transparency of think-tanks.

    From 1995-1998, he was Central Europe correspondent for The European newspaper, prior to which he worked as an editor and journalist in London for The European, the Sunday Times, New Statesman, Tribune, and other titles. He was an op-ed contributor for the International Herald Tribune.

    Overview of experience:

    More than 20 years as communications, advocacy and public policy professional (internal and external communications, management of international networks, reputation management, corporate social responsibility, and public relations): 
    • Experienced editor and journalist published in leading international media (1987-1999: editor and journalist in UK and Central Europe), specialised in book-editing and quality control of policy publications (editing of texts written in English by non-native speakers), including as Editor-in-Chief of Eastern Partnership Index 2017; 
    • Experienced public speaker and moderator of international events;
    • Trainer in journalism and media skills (including training on anti-corruption reporting);
    • Member, Advisory Group on Media Freedom in the Eastern Partnership countries, chaired by the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council, January-June 2015, and the European Commission since January 2017;
    • Served twice as co-Chair of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (2011-2012, again 2013-2014), and was author of the Forum's first four-year strategy.

    More than 10 years’ experience in conception, design, and management of multi-country projects, grantmaking (re-granting), and skills development, focusing on good governance, strategic communications, EU policymaking, democratic transition, and civil society-government relations: 
    • Designed and managed dozens of multi-country projects and fellowship schemes, including projects on free trade agreements and visa-free travel, preparing Eastern Partner countries' policymakers for integration with the EU, and a project resulting in the first Open Government Partnership (OGP) Balkans Dialogue conference in 2015;
    • Conceived and managed a range of fellowship schemes, including the Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship for policy analysts from Ukraine (PASOS, 2012-2015), and the fellowship project, Supporting Independent Journalism in the Eastern Partnership Countries (New Diplomacy, 2016);
    • Secured funding for a € 960,000 project on the Open Government Partnership in south-east Europe, a € 1 million grant for strengthening civil society monitoring of public service delivery in the Eastern Partnership countries, and a four-year contract to provide foreign policy expertise to the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.  
    • Achieved for PASOS Transparify’s top (five-star) rating for funding transparency of think-tanks in 2015.
    • Grantmaking and monitoring and evaluation of projects as a re-granter to civil society organisations in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including mentoring of grantees in project design and implementation;