Bill Sweeney (CEO)

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William "Bill" Sweeney, Jr.
Nationality American
Alma mater American University
Occupation Businessman, CEO
Employer International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Title Chief Executive Officer of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Predecessor Jean-Pierre Kingsley

William "Bill" Sweeney, Jr. is a businessman and politician who has been the chief executive officer at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems since 2009.


Sweeney is a graduate of American University School of Public Affairs with a B.A. in Political Science.[1]


After graduation, Bill Sweeney worked for the Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis for the 1973 and 1974 sessions.[2]

In February 1974, he joined the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as Research Director.[2][3] In July 1977, he was appointed Executive Director of the DCCC by Chairman James C. Corman (D-CA).[2] He directed the committee’s activities for the 1978 and 1980 congressional elections.[2]

In February, 1981 Bill Sweeney was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by Chairman Charles T. Manatt .[2] He was the conference manager for the 1982 Midterm Party Conference in Philadelphia; handled congressional liaison for the DNC; and supervised the construction of the Party’s first headquarters which opened in February, 1985.[4]

From 1985 to 1991, Sweeney was President of Washington Resources & Strategy, Inc.[2] The firm provided consulting services to Democratic political candidates as well as a spectrum of associations and corporations in Asia, Europe and the United States.[5] Sweeney closed the firm in 1991 to become Director of Government Relations for Electronic Data Systems (EDS), an information services company.[2] He was initially responsible for congressional affairs.[2] In 1994, he became Executive Director. In 2000, he was appointed Vice President for Global Government Affairs of EDS.[2][5] He was responsible for managing the Washington, D.C. office as well as EDS relations with government on a global basis.[2][5] After the acquisition of EDS by Hewlett Packard, Sweeney retired from EDS in March, 2009.[2][5] The Hill named Sweeney amongst the top corporate lobbyist in the business.[6]

Sweeney was elected a member of the board of directors of British American Business Council, the European-American Business Council, the Information Technology Association of America, the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Council for International Business, the U.S.–New Zealand Business Council and the Fund for American Studies. Sweeney also served on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) from 2000 to 2007 and as chairman of the Board from 2003 until 2007.[7] For his service to SERC, he was honored with the Issac Hull Medal.[7] He also served on the State Department Advisory Committee on International Communications from 1993-2008.

Sweeney was also elected to the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in 1993. He became Chairman of the Board in 1999, and resigned in 2001. Sweeney was an international elections observer in the Philippines (1986), Russia (1994), Nicaragua (1996) and Jamaica (1997).[5][8] He also conducted political training in advance of Hungary’s first free election since 1945 for the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Sweeney is the co-founder of the American University Campaign Management Institute. He served as Director of the program from 1988-1992. He has lectured at the American University Advocacy Institute and serves on the board of directors of the American University Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. He contributed to Campaigns and Elections, American Style, co-authored Campaign Groundwork: Strategy Planning and Management among many other published works, interviews and lectures.[9]

The Joint Congressional Committee on the Inaugural Ceremonies has invited Bill Sweeney to participate in the organization of the inaugurations of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.[10]

On June 2, 2009, Sweeney was appointed Chief Executive Officer and President of IFES.[2] He succeeds Jean-Pierre Kingsley.[2] On June 19, 2009, Sweeney was made an honorary officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire because of his efforts to strengthen business relationships between the United States and United Kingdom.[11]


  1. ^ "Bill Sweeney". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Brown, Charity (21 September 2009). "New at the Top: Bill Sweeney". Washington Post. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  3. ^ "About the Contributors", pp 249-251 in Thurber and Nelson
  4. ^ Democrats Today. 5 (1): 13. January–Feb 1982.  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d e Dettmer, Jamie; Osio, Laura (16 June 2009). "An Interview with Bill Sweeney, IFES President & CEO". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Corporate lobbyists: The best in the business". The Hill. 2 May 2006. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Changing of the Guard" (PDF). SERC report. Summer 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Members Make It Happen – Bill Sweeney of EDS". USCIB News. United Council for International Business. June 2005. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  9. ^ William R. Sweeney, Jr., "2. Principles of Campaign Planning" pp 17-36 in Thurber and Nelson
  10. ^ "Bridging the Public-Private Divide: An Interview with William R. Sweeney Jr., Vice President, Global Government Affairs, EDS, Plano, Texas" (PDF). Leaders. 26 (4): 134–135. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-04. 
  11. ^ "IFES President Receives Honorary Award for Strengthening the UK-US Business Relationship". International Foundation for Electoral Systems. 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 

Book sources[edit]

James A. Thurber, Candice J. Nelson (eds.). Campaigns and Elections, American Style, co-authored Campaign Groundwork: Strategy Planning and Management. 

External links[edit]