London, 20 January, 2015.- Richard W. Soudriette, founding President of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) from 1988 to 2007, and now President of the Centre for Diplomacy and Democracy in Colorado, USA, has been appointed Chairman of the International Elections Advisory Council (IEAC), established by Smartmatic, the world’s leader in election automation. 
Along with Mr. Soudriette, five high profile members have been announced: Torquato Jardim, Law Professor and author, magistrate at the Federal Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Brazil, considered to be one of the top specialists in Electoral Law in Brazil; Brigalia Bam, a celebrated and awarded author, educator, organizer, and holder of various high-level posts throughout her long career, among them Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa; Charles Lasham, a renowned global expert with more than 30 years providing technical election assistance to over thirty countries around the globe, and administering elections in the UK; S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, head of the Electoral Commission of India; and Paul DeGregorio, former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), Director of Elections for St. Louis County, Missouri, and former chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
“I am very excited to be able to lead this council, comprised of colleagues fully aligned with my life-long devotion, namely, building stronger democracies and better run elections”, Richard Soudriette stated.
The Council will advise on new technologies and systems with the goal to attain maximum transparency and efficiency in democratic electoral processes around the world.
Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic, commented; “Globally we are seeing declining voter turnout and electoral participation as democracies worldwide face the challenge of keeping their citizens fully engaged in the democratic process. Professional election administration and the use of new election technologies both play a central role in guaranteeing the credibility and efficiency of elections in the eyes of the voters.
The IEAC will advise Smartmatic and election officials on strategies and solutions that will promote maximum efficiency, transparency and trust in the election process.”