Thomas E. Garrett
Appointed Secretary General of the Community of Democracies in August 2017, Thomas E. Garrett has worked in the field of politics and advocacy for more than three decades. Most recently, he supported reformers and democrats across the world with his work at the International Republican Institute (IRI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports democracy, civil society, women and youth political empowerment and democratic governance in more than 80 countries.
He joined IRI in November 1994 as Ukraine country director, assuming progressively more responsible leadership roles over 23 years, eventually being named vice president for programs, overseeing a global portfolio of more than 200 staff in offices in 32 countries. In addition to conducting more than 300 IRI training missions on topics of political organization in seven countries, Garrett worked on election observation missions in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Mali, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, the Solomon Islands, Timor- Leste, Tunisia and Ukraine.
An enrolled member of an American Indian tribe, the Chickasaw Nation, Garrett joined the Federal government in 1989 to work in support of indigenous rights. He served as a legislative assistant for Alaska Native and American Indian issues in the U.S. Senate and as a political appointee in the government of President George H.W. Bush in positions of relevance to Native Americans.
In 2017, the Government of Mongolia conferred the Order of Friendship on Garrett for his work in support of Mongolian democracy. His master’s degree is in diplomacy and international relations and his undergraduate degree is in political science.
Finance and Accounting Manager
Civil Society Coordinator