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International Experts Panel

As an independent body, the IRM is guided by, but not directly accountable to, the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership. An International Experts Panel (IEP) directly oversees the IRM. This panel is made up of five steering members and five quality control advisors. The steering members play an important role in setting the vision for the IRM and promoting its findings. The quality control advisors, all renowned experts in transparency, participation, and accountability, play the principal role of guiding development and implementation of the IRM research method and ensuring the highest quality of reports.

Membership of the IEP

Steering Committee

César Nicandro Cruz-Rubio, CEO and Senior Researcher, GIGAPP
Ph.D.  Political Science and Public Administration from Complutense University of Madrid (UCM  2015). B.A. Political Science and Public Administration from National University of Mexico (UNAM 1992. Honors).

Political Scientist. Research areas: Policy designs, policy legitimacy. Open Government, governance, transparency. Cesar works as a professor and teaching-content developer for several international and Spanish entities, like OAS, Granada University, National Institute of Public Administration-Spain. Speaker and trainer in policy analysis and open government topics. Since 2012 to date, he is the IRM-OGP researcher for Spain. Since 2010 to date, he is Senior researcher and President of GIGAPP, an Iberoamerican Research Group on Government Administration and Public Policy, and organization who coordinates research projects into a network of nearly 900 researchers in Latin America and Spain ( Since 2015, he is also researcher at the Integrity Project, a project held by Transparency International Spain and funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

He is author of several papers and articles published in specialized journals in the field of public policy, as well as author of several contributions with teaching materials who currently are used for open government teaching programs.

Open Access to Publications:  Google Academico: | GIGAPP website: | Academia website:

Mary Francoli, Associate Professor, Carleton University, Canada
Mary Francoli is an Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication in Ottawa, Canada. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from Western University. Prior to joining the School of Journalism and Communication, she was the Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in New Media and Internet Politics at Royal Holloway, The University of London.

Dr. Francoli’s research looks at the relationship between digital media and issues related to politics and governance. While this is a large and diverse field, most of her research has focused on the way that digital media has impacted three broad areas: citizen engagement and mobilization, governance, access to information and data.

Dr. Francoli is a leading researcher in the field of open government and open data. She has authored two major reports for the Open Government Partnership assessing the Government of Canada’s progress in the area of open government. She has provided expert testimony to the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Government Operations on the issue of open data and has been invited to speak about open government and open data at a number of conferences and venues, including the annual meeting of the federal and provincial Information Commissioners in 2014.

Brendan Halloran, International Budget Partnership, USA
Brendan Halloran is the Senior Fellow in the International Budget Partnership’s Strategy and Learning team. In this role, Brendan supports strategy and learning processes at IBP – both the internal production of learning insights and drawing on evidence and ideas from broader research and practice in the governance space. He’s particularly interested in complex change dynamics, and how to support organizations to both navigate and strengthen accountability ecosystems. Prior to joining IBP in 2016, Brendan lead the learning work of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, where he played a role in shaping and interpreting evidence about what works, as well as supporting collective learning spaces, such as the TALEARN network. Before that, Brendan spent five years working on and researching governance issues in Guatemala, including as a Governance Advisor for USAID.  Brendan has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, and has published work in a variety of journals, think pieces, and blogs, including his own — Politics, Governance, and Development.  He is also on the board of Rhize, an NGO that supports and accompanies non-violent social movements around the world.

Jeff Lovitt, New Diplomacy, Czech Republic
Jeff Lovitt is the Chair of New Diplomacy, an association established in Prague in 2015 to address the challenges facing global and regional policymakers in the eastern and southern neighborhoods of the European Union. New Diplomacy focuses on security policy, diplomacy, and media standards, including raising the quality and accuracy of factual information available to policymakers and the wider public. He has provided policy expertise and risk consultancy services to clients such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

From 2005-2015, Jeff was Executive Director of PASOS, a network of independent think-tanks in Europe and Central Asia. He developed PASOS as a leading regional civil society network (in 2012, and again in 2014, he served as co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum), and he put the Open Government Partnership on the agenda in the Western Balkans, resulting in the first annual OGP Balkans Dialogue conference in Tirana in 2015. From 2000-2005, he was Director of Communications at the international secretariat of Transparency International (TI). From 1995-1998, he was Central Europe correspondent for The European newspaper, and from 1987-1995 he was 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.

Jeff has conceived and managed projects linking up civil society actors in the Middle East, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia with independent think-tanks in Central Europe. He has delivered training courses for journalists on reporting on corruption, and for think-tank leaders on strategic communications. In 2015, he was a member of the Advisory Group on Media Freedom in the Eastern Partnership countries, chaired by the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council.

He is the author and editor of a range of publications on inclusive policy-making, including Democracy’s New Champions. European Democracy Assistance after EU Enlargement (2008), How to Win Respect and Influence Policymakers. Principles for Effective Quality Controls in the Work of Independent Think-tanks (2011), The Right Approach to Europe. An Advocacy Handbook for Civil Society: Understanding and Influencing EU Policymaking (2012), the European Integration Index 2014 for Eastern Partnership Countries, and Civil Participation in Political Decision-Making in the Six Eastern Partnership Countries – Part One. Laws and Policies (2016).

Showers Mawowa, Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) and University of Pretoria, South Africa
Showers Mawowa holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies (2013) and Masters in Economic History (2007) both from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He is currently a Research and Development Manager at the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO), a regional policy think tank based in South Africa and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pretoria’s Political Sciences Department. His expertise includes extractives governance, development economics, political economy and South Africa’s Foreign Policy.

At SALO Showers has been responsible for developing new areas of work, in particular the “Development Series Dialogues” and research covering themes such as extractive governance, AU’s Agenda 2063, the UN 2030 agenda and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) among others. He has written and published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, commissioned research papers and opinion pieces in print media as well as peer reviewed for academic journals. Other work experience includes teaching at Universities in South Africa, pro-poor economic policy research and advocacy, local and international advocacy on public debt, aid effectiveness and development co-operation. Showers Mawowa is an alumnus of the African Program on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE).

Fredline M’Cormack-Hale, Associate Professor, School of International Relations, Seton Hall University
Dr. Fredline M’Cormack-Hale is an Associate Professor with the School of Diplomacy, Seton Hall University (New Jersey). Her teaching and research interests include post conflict recovery, African economic development, gender and the international aid community, with a focus on Sierra Leone. Fredline’s research explores the impact of international non-governmental organizations on democratization, women’s political participation, and most recently, the role of international organizations in the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone. She also serves as Research and Policy Director for the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), a policy think tank in Sierra Leone. The organisation’s research, advocacy and social accountability efforts are focused on public sector reform, extractives, elections, and decentralized service delivery. Fredline has also consulted for a number of bilateral and multilateral organizations on a variety of development projects including UNDP, Oxfam Novib, and GIZ, and conducted research in Guinea, Niger, Benin, and Mali as well as Sierra Leone. Her work appears in a variety of mediums, including peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and consultancy research reports. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Masters’ degrees in Gender and Development Studies and Mass Communication. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Sierra Leone, 2013-2014.

Quality Control

Quentin Reed
Quentin Reed worked as an independent governance/anti-corruption consultant since the late 1990s, following a prize-winning doctorate on corruption in post-communist systems and spells as an adviser at the Czech Supreme Audit Office and then as a journalist. He has worked for a variety of international organisations/donors in both short-term and long-term capacities, including as Team Leader for anti-corruption projects in Azerbaijan and Albania. His geographical focus has been countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and more recently the Middle East and North Africa region. He specializes in a number of areas, including risk assessment/anti-corruption policy design, public sector ethics, conflict of interest regulation, asset declaration systems, whistleblowing and political party/election campaign finance.

Rick Snell
Rick Snell is an Adjunct Associate Professor in law at the University of Tasmania. His research, ideas and teaching have been influential within Australia and internationally. His major areas of interest are Freedom of Information, Open Government,  Ombudsman and comparative administrative law

Rick was Deputy Dean of the Law School from 2014 to June 2018. He was an elected and active member of the governing Council of the University of Tasmania from 2003-2006.

Associate Professor Snell has been used as an expert in FOI by parliamentary committees and government agencies in all Australian states, Canadian Access to Information Review Task Force, Australian Law Reform Commission, World Bank Institute, OECD, Article 19 (NGO), PACT (NGO) and Open Society Initiative (NGO), Carter Centre (NGO), Tasmanian Review of the Freedom of Information Act, and by journalists in Australia, UK, South Africa and Canada.

Jean-Patrick Villeneuve
Jean-Patrick Villeneuve is Associate Professor of Public Management and Communication at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano, Switzerland. He is Director of the Institute for Public Communication and Co-Director of the Swiss national Master programme Public Management and Policy. He is also Adjunct Professor of Public Management at the Ecole nationale d’Admnistration publique (Canada) and Visiting Professors at the University of International Business and Economics – 对外经济贸易大学 (China).

Before joining USI, Prof. Villeneuve has worked at the United Nations (International Civil Aviation Organisation, International Labour Organisation) and in different Canadian public organisations (Federal Ministry of Transport, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Parliament). He works regularly with public institution at the local, national and international level.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration/HEC Lausanne (Switzerland), an M.Phil. from Cambridge University (United Kingdom), an M.P.A. from Concordia University (Canada).

His research focuses on issues of transparency, anti-corruption and participatory governance. He is particularly interested in the limitations, difficulties and impacts of implementing administrative transparency initiatives. He also analyses the metrics of anti-corruption, with a special focus on developed ‘low-corruption’ countries. He focuses as well on the evolution of the relationship between citizens and the State. Directly linked to these topics, he is a member of the International Executive Committee of the Global Conference on Transparency Research. Further afield, he works on international regulatory issues in the gambling sector, with a special eye to deviances in sport betting.

His research has been funded by various institutions, notably by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the European Science Foundation. He has published in a number of top level academic journals and with leading publishing houses. He is member of various journal board and academic associations.

Juanita Olaya
Dr. Juanita Olaya Garcia has over 25 years of experience and a proven track record in the areas of good governance, sustainability, human rights and anti-corruption across the world, which have made her a renowned expert in the field.  Her specialty lies at the intersection between law and society. Having worked with different national and international institutions, with the public sector, academia and civil society, among them Transparency International, Juanita launched her independent private practice in 2008, based in Berlin, Germany.  In her practice, Juanita focuses on empirical research and expert advice in the areas of governance, sustainability and integrity. This includes working hands-on helping partners with the implementation of anti-corruption and human rights standards, supporting organisational development efforts, undertaking stakeholder engagement and pursuing both field and policy development work.  Among others, Juanita has worked together with international partners like the OSCE, UNDP, GIZ, the OECD, the Water Integrity Network, the Inter American Development Bank and numerous national partners across the globe.  Juanita has been a council member at the World Economic Forum of the “Benchmarking Progress in Society’s Global Council and has participated in Boards of diverse national organisations. She is currently a member and since July 2017 Chair of the UNCAC Coalition. In addition to her engagements as public speaker, her publications on topics of good governance are widely used and referenced. Juanita is a Colombian/German lawyer (Andes, 1991) with master degrees in Economics (Andes 1994) and Public Administration (Harvard, KSG 1998) and a Doctorate (Dr. iur) in International Public Economic Law (Bonn, 2010).


To see a list of previous members who have served on the International Experts Panel, please visit this page.

Meetings & Minutes

Beginning in 2016, the IRM will make more effort to be transparent about IEP meetings, agendas, and decisions. Those documents can be found below:

  • First 2016 IEP Meeting in Washington, DC (April 2016): Agenda
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