International Association of Political Consultants
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In November 1968, Michel Bongrand of France and Joseph Napolitan of the USA invited a handful of veteran political campaign managers from fifteen countries to meet in Paris to exchange information and opinions about the emerging profession of political consulting. At the end of the two-day meeting, they decided to formalize their professional interests by organizing the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC).
Members of the IAPC come from many spheres of political activity. A large segment of the membership are professional political consultants who counsel candidates, political parties, run campaigns or provide specialized services such as polling, fundraising, message development and communications. Members also include specialists in government relations, lobbying, political party employees and members of academia.
Currently, the IAPC membership is drawn from dozens of nations representing ever continent.
The IAPC has two primary goals. First and foremost the organization is committed to fostering democracy and the democratic process throughout the world. Since 1982, the IAPC has presented its Democracy Medal to an individual or organization who has worked courageously to foster, promote and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela and, most recently, Dr. Mir Hossein Mousavi of Iran.
Secondly, the organization has remained true to its original mission of fostering the growing and diverse profession of political consulting as well as the practical aspects of democratic elections. The IAPC accomplishes this by bringing together members at this annual meeting to exchange views and information about political developments and campaign techniques. Organizationally, this conference which is held each November in a different city is the most important activity of the IAPC.