Program assistant at the Washington, D.C.-based National Democratic Institute, which helps other countries build political parties and strengthen civil society. Princeton major: Woodrow Wilson School, with a certificate in Near Eastern studies.
What he does: Working from NDI’s Washington office, Ruchman last year helped organize NDI’s international observation mission for the parliamentary elections in Egypt. He was responsible for the logistics of getting 55 observers into and out of the country and briefing them on “everything from the political situation to the weather in Cairo.” Today Ruchman also works on Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania and regional programs in the Middle East. He writes grant proposals and quarterly reports for donors, and tracks the news and political trends.
What he likes: “Everything that has been in the headlines for the last year and a half is exactly what I work on,” says Ruchman.
Challenges: “As an institution, the most challenging thing we face is that we are working in very uncertain political environments.”