As the Atlantic Council’s Deputy Director of the Albright-Hadley Middle East Strategy Task Force, Jessica Ashooh focuses on how the United States and its allies can more comprehensively address the growing challenges of state failure and violent extremism in the Middle East and set the region on a more positive trajectory. Prior to joining the Council, Ashooh spent a number of years based in Abu Dhabi, where she worked as a Senior Analyst in the UAE Foreign Ministry’s Policy Planning Department. In this capacity, she specialized on the crisis in Syria, and worked in close cooperation with the UAE Special Envoy for Syria to support the UAE’s engagement in the Geneva II peace process and with moderate elements of the Syrian political opposition. Ashooh has also worked as a consulting adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Planning in Erbil, Iraq. Ashooh holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College), which she attended as a Marshall Scholar. Her doctoral research focused on ideological and bureaucratic infighting in US foreign policy toward the Middle East. She did her undergraduate studies at Brown University and also spent time at the American University of Beirut and at the Bourguiba Language Institute in Tunis. Her work has been published in Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The Hill, and others. She is also a frequent broadcast commentator on networks including Al Jazeera, SkyNews, and Voice of America.
Dr. Jessica Ashooh