Marjan H. Ehsassi is a strategic policy advisor, practitioner, movement builder, and a fierce believer in citizen-centric, inclusive, responsive and impactful government-led engagements that provide citizens with consequential voice in policy reform.
She has traveled to and worked to enhance space for civil society in some of the most complex environments including Iran, Ukraine, and North Korea. A lawyer and international governance expert, she received her Doctorate in International Affairs from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, with a concentration on democratic innovations, deliberation and government-initiated citizens’ assemblies. She has studied the impact of citizens’ assemblies on participants in France, Belgium, Canada, and the United States.
Marjan is Strategic Director of the Democratic Action Fund and serves on several boards including Healthy Democracy, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Meridian Council. She was one of four guarantors selected to the Collège des Garants of the French Citizens’ Convention on the End of Life (Convention Citoyenne sur la Fin de Vie) (2022-2023) and is on the Oversight Committee of G1000’s We Need To Talk Citizens’ Panel (2022-2023).
As a Berggruen Future of Democracy Fellow, Marjan supports programs that raise knowledge, build capacity and test deliberative platforms in the United States, including the Global Innovations in Democracy Parliamentary Forum, the Summit of Democracy Working Group on Deliberative Democracy, the Future of Institutions on Deliberative Democracy, and the design and implementation of the Citizens’ Assemblies in the United States.