In 1982, while speaking to the British Parliament at the height of the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan called upon freedom-loving nations to “foster the infrastructure of democracy” in countries that were lacking any semblance of democratic development. The goal was to reverse the tide of tyranny and create “a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.”

For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.

president Ronald Reagan – 1982

With the expansion of representative government, backed by free and fair elections and independent political institutions, more countries would reject tyranny and the spread of peace and prosperity would not be limited.  

Soon after Reagan’s prescient words, the International Republican Institute (IRI) was founded as one of the core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), with a mission to advance democracy worldwide.

Since our founding in 1983, in over 100 countries, IRI has been working to strengthen civil society, political parties, marginalized communities, and other key areas essential to democratic governance. We encourage democracy in places where it is absent, help democracy become more effective where it is in danger and share best practices where democracy is flourishing.

IRI’s work continues to have a tremendous impact. Our staff and local partners help legislators enhance transparency, connect policymakers with their constituencies, empower individuals who have previously felt left out of the political process, and we have observed over 200 elections.

Today, more people than ever before are raising their voices and expressing their desire to live in a democratic society. They wish to be citizens, not subjects. IRI hears their call and remains more committed to our mission with each passing day.

IRI’s Mission

The International Republican Institute advances democracy and freedom. We link people with their governments, guide politicians to be responsive to citizens, and motivate people to engage in the political process.

A man talks into a microphone at a meeting

IRI Around the World

From Ethiopia to Ukraine to Guatemala, in dozens of countries around the world, IRI works to support democracy, political inclusion, multi-party political systems and a free exchange of ideas. 

Ronald Reagan Addresses House Of Lords

Promoting Democracy and Peace

President Ronald Reagan – Speech to the British Parliament, June 8, 1982


Thank you for your interest in our work. If you do not see an answer to your question below, email us at and we will do our best to help.

Are you a part of the Republican Party?

No, IRI is a nonpartisan organization, not affiliated with any political party. 

In how many countries do you work?

We have conducted programs in more than 100 countries. You can see where we work on our IRI Around the World page.

Where do you get your funding?

IRI is a 501(c)(3) and receives funding through grants from the U.S. State DepartmentU.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other aid agencies.  Less than one percent of IRI’s funding comes from private donations. We do not receive any money from the Republican Party or any other U.S. partisan entity.

Who is on your Board of Directors?

IRI’s Board of Directors is made up of individuals who are committed to our work and share our vision of a world where all people are free to determine their own destiny. You can view the current members by visiting the Board of Directors page of our website

You have an International Advisory Council.  What do they do?

The IAC is a select group of recognized leaders from around the world who share in our vision of democracy and freedom, and are willing to lend their names and counsel to this cause.

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