Katya Rimkunas

Regional Deputy Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, International Republican Institute
USA

Katya Rimkunas currently serves as the Regional Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Republican Institute (IRI). She brings more than 15 years’ experience in international development and democratic governance. In her current capacity she leads and manages programs that strengthen democratic institutions and processes in 20 countries and oversees the Institute’s Washington-based and regional staff.  She was appointed to this role in April 2014.  An expert on issue-based policy development, civil society strengthening and government accountability, Rimkunas has provided consultations and trainings to local Institute partners and beneficiaries on a variety of issues ranging from organizational-capacity building to long-term sustainability to grassroots outreach. She has also observed elections in Nigeria, Nicaragua and Guatemala. In 2018, Rimkunas testified before the U.S. House of Representative’s Foreign Affairs Committee on the 2018 elections in the Western Hemisphere and the implications for U.S. policy.  Rimkunas joined IRI in 2005 managing programs in Cuba, Mexico and Brazil. She has covered almost every country in which IRI works in Latin America including Venezuela, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia and oversaw the opening and expansion of offices in El Salvador and Nicaragua.  She has led successful assessment missions to Panama and St. Lucia, establishing IRI’s program in Panama and became the division’s senior advisor on innovative programming, strategy and working in closed societies.  Prior to joining IRI, Rimkunas worked in the office of Senator John McCain. She was born in Peru and grew up in Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Political Science and Latin American studies. She is also a graduate of the Campaign School at Yale.