Saskia Brechenmacher
Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program


Saskia Brechenmacher is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, where her research focuses on gender, civil society, and democratic governance.

Prior to joining Carnegie, Brechenmacher worked as a graduate researcher at the World Peace Foundation in Boston, and co-led a research project on corruption and state legitimacy in Uganda for the Institute for Human Security at Tufts University.

She has advised major governmental and private funders on strategies to protect and defend civic space in countries experiencing democratic backsliding. Her writing has been published in the National Interest, the Hill, New America Weekly, Open Democracy, and elsewhere. 

Brechenmacher is a graduate of Carnegie’s James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program, a 2017 Atlantik-Brücke Young Leader, and a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow. She also gained experience at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in London, and the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in Prague.

BA, Brown University, MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, PhD candidate, University of Cambridge
English, French, German, Russian

All work from Saskia Brechenmacher

63 Results
Launch of Women LEAD: Women Leading Effective and Accountable Democracy in the Digital Age
July 8, 2024

On the margins of the seventy-fifth NATO summit, please join the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the National Democratic Institute for an event marking the launch of Women Leading Effective and Accountable Democracy in the Digital Age (Women LEAD), a new initiative from the Biden-Harris administration focused on advancing women’s political participation globally and addressing barriers to women’s leadership, both online and offline.

  • +7
What Strategies Work to Advance Women’s Political Power?
June 13, 2024

Globally, women remain systematically underrepresented in politics. But are current interventions to promote women’s political empowerment still fit for purpose?

  • +2
Defending Civic Space in the United States: Lessons Learned Around the World

In a context of democratic erosion, U.S. civil society organizations face a widening array of legal, political, and security threats. They can learn from the experiences of civic activists in backsliding democracies around the world.

· May 9, 2024
In The Media
in the media
Saskia Brechenmacher on Promoting Gender Equality Through Democracy Assistance Aid

A conversation on the evolution of democracy programs designed to encourage gender equality.

· April 16, 2024
Democracy Paradox
On the Front Lines: Women’s Mobilization for Democracy in an Era of Backsliding

Women play diverse roles in and exert major influence on popular movements against democratic erosion around the world, from Brazil to Hungary to India.

· March 21, 2024
Aiding Empowerment: Democracy Promotion and Gender Equality in Politics

International assistance for women’s political empowerment has evolved significantly over the last three decades, from a first generation of aid programs aimed at integrating women into nascent democratic institutions to a second generation focused on transforming the broader political ecosystem.

· March 20, 2024
Oxford University Press
In The Media
in the media
Women’s Roles in Anti-Authoritarian Resistance

Many autocratic leaders have understood the power of women’s political action and are taking steps to co-opt or undermine it. Those looking to support democracy should take note.

· March 5, 2024
Kenyan Women Are Pushing for Action on Femicide. They Have a Road Map.

Movements in Argentina and South Africa offer a guide for demanding government measures to curb gender-based violence.

In The Media
in the media
Gender Equality at the 78th UN General Assembly: Progress Made and Challenges Ahead

It is noteworthy that at a time of global fragmentation, geopolitical tension, and pushback against some gender equality goals, new coalitions are emerging that are seeking to model an alternative path forward.

· October 12, 2023
Just Security
India’s New Gender Quota Law Is a Win for Women—Mostly

Bringing more women into national and state politics could be a significant step for women’s representation, but several factors may threaten progress.

· September 26, 2023