Ashleigh Whelan is a political and development expert with fifteen years of program management experience, including twelve years implementing governance, transparency, political inclusion, and community engagement programs. In her capacity as a partner at Roya Development Group, she authors political analyses, develops client-focused strategic planning and business development plans, conducts program impact and partnership feasibility assessments, and serves as an expert advisor and trainer. She serves as an advisor to the international community, Iraqi political leaders, civil society, and civic activists.
Previously, she served as the Iraq country director for the International Republican Institute from 2017-2022 where she oversaw and implemented programs supporting nascent political advocacy movements, encouraging responsive governance, promoting community cohesion, and broadening access to civic education. While at IRI, she also held positions as senior governance advisor for IRI’s local governance initiatives in Jordan, and as country director for Mongolia and the Philippines, where she served as an advisor to the Ulaanbaatar Mayor’s Office and municipal government on transparency, worked to build legislative development capacity, and increase women’s electoral participation, and encouraged young Filipino local government officials to expand community engagement and advocacy. From 2012-2015, she served as IRI’s global senior governance advisor, supporting projects on and conducting assessments of effective governance worldwide. Ashleigh has been an accredited elections observer in Iraq, Mongolia, and Tunisia.
Prior to joining IRI, Ashleigh worked with the UNDP in New York as a technical advisor and political analyst on governance and democracy projects and in Egypt as a decentralization advisor, as well as in Palestine with Windows for Peace, a community organization supporting Palestinian local councils. She holds a master’s degree in public administration and governance from New York University and bachelor’s degrees from Quinnipiac University. She graduated from the Yale Women’s Campaign School.
Mohanad Adnan is a political analyst and communications strategist with a wealth of experience working with aspiring politicians, civic activists, and elected officials. His experience as a government liaison, political expert and strategic advisor is drawn from more than ten years engaging with senior government leaders, diplomatic advisors, development agencies and security professionals.
With Roya Development Group, which he founded in 2021, Mohanad looks at Iraq’s political, economic and security landscape, and seeks to inform readers about the dynamics and developments within the country.
Mohanad previously implemented political development and civic advocacy programs with the International Republican Institute, where he oversaw a portfolio of more than $5M in funding from the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy. Prior to IRI, he held a range of
senior government relations positions with Torres Enterprise, Reed, and Pilgrims Group.
Mohanad grew up in Baghdad, Iraq and holds a diploma in political campaign management from The Campaign School at Yale University, an Accredited Program Manager certification from the International Organization for Project Management and a Bachelor’s degree from Al-Turath University.