- Director of ResearchShelly and Michael Kassen Fellow
Dana Stroul is Director of Research and Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, positions she assumed in February, 2024. She rejoined the Institute after serving from 2021-2023 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, the Pentagon’s top civilian official with responsibility for the region. In that capacity, she led the development and execution of U.S. defense policy in the region during an especially turbulent period that included accelerating integrated air and maritime defense, addressing Iran’s destabilizing activities, formulating the U.S. approach to strategic competition, sustaining the DEFEAT-ISIS coalition, and responding to the Israel-Hamas War.
Stroul was a fellow at the Institute from 2018-2020 and, during that period served as co-chair, alongside her Washington Institute colleague Michael Singh, of the bipartisan Syria Study Group, which released its final report on U.S. policy toward the conflict in Syria in September 2019.
Prior to joining the Institute in 2018, she served for five years as a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she covered the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. In that capacity, she played a central role in the oversight of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which included overseeing U.S. foreign assistance and weapons sales, as well as crafting relevant legislation.
Before working on Capitol Hill, Stroul served in the Middle East policy office of the Secretary of Defense. From 2008 to 2013, she focused on a range of topics including U.S.-Egypt relations, the U.S. military drawdown in Iraq, and a review of U.S. government policies and programs in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In addition, Stroul also worked at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on economic-political affairs, at the U.S. Institute of Peace on civilian-military relations in Iraq, and at the National Democratic Institute on Gulf Affairs.
M.S., Georgetown University; B.A., University of Virginia.