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Joe Powell

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Joe Powell is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership. He joined OGP shortly after its founding, and has played a leading role in its growth to 78 member countries and thousands of civil society organizations, representing a strong global coalition for open government and democracy, and against authoritarianism and corruption. Joe leads the organization’s strategy development, global advocacy, fundraising, and a wide range of partnerships with multilateral organizations, civil society organizations and governments. He leads engagement with OGP’s Steering Committee of ministers and civil society leaders, and is a regular spokesperson for the Partnership.

In 2020, Joe was named an inaugural Obama Europe Leader, as part of the Obama Foundation’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world. Joe also serves on the advisory council for the OECD Observatory of Civic Space and on the Board of the Forum on Information and Democracy, an initiative of Reporters Without Borders.

Prior to OGP, Joe worked as a Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager at the ONE Campaign, where he was managing ONE’s global campaign for increased transparency in the extractive industries and worked on campaigns to increase the quality and level of UK aid. Joe also led global advocacy for the G20 and policy development for the G8.

Before working at ONE, Joe launched an online current affairs platform called ‘Uganda Talks’ for the Independent, a weekly East African news magazine, and worked for Action Aid Uganda. He studied at Makerere University. Joe holds a BA from the University of Cambridge.

Authored Content

SARS Protests

Defending Civic Space: How OGP Can Step Up

There is a major opportunity in 2021 to advance civic space reforms in OGP that go to the heart of some of the democratic backsliding the world has seen in recent years, and to showcase them at the 10th anniversary Global Summit in December of 2021.


Trump’s Pardons and Putin’s Palace Show Why Biden Must Tackle Corruption at Home and Abroad

To save democracy at home, and build a stronger global coalition of democractic allies, the financing for authoritarianism must be made ever harder. Only a strong, diverse coalition of countries and civil society champions, with renewed US engagement, can achieve that goal.

Open Response + Open Recovery Photos

Can the COVID-19 Pandemic be a Turning Point for Democracy and Open Government?

Those of us who believe in open, inclusive and liberal democracy were already on the backfoot after years of rising authoritarianism, declining civic space and attacks on democratic norms even in countries that have been traditional champions of our values. The question now is, can the pandemic be a turning point?

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Open Government Partnership