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Dana Stroul Named the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dana Stroul, a veteran policymaker who joined The Washington Institute last year after service in both the Pentagon and Capitol Hill, has been named the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow, the research organization announced today.

"Less than a year since leaving government and joining the think tank world, Dana has established herself among policymakers and journalists as a top-tier expert on a broad array of issues -- from foreign policy on Capitol Hill, to policy options for Gulf security, to the future of U.S. policy in Syria," said Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. “We are fortunate to have her as a key member of our senior research team."

“We are privileged to have the opportunity to support Dana’s important work,” said Shelly and Michael Kassen, longtime Institute trustees from Westport, CT. “Her practical experience from both the executive and legislative branches and her strong, centrist voice epitomize the finest attributes of The Washington Institute.“

Shelly Kassen has served as president of the Institute since 2016.

While at the Institute, Stroul has authored a number of policy papers and opinion pieces for The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and The Hill on topics ranging from the Middle East peace process, to U.S. policy with Iran, to U.S. arms sales to Gulf states. She also served as the Democratic co-chair for the Congressionally-mandated Syria Study Group, which released its  report and bipartisan recommendations in September 2019. Stroul also testified before foreign affairs committees in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives alongside Washington Institute Managing Director Michael Singh, the Republican co-chair of the study group.

Dana Stroul joined the Institute in December 2018 after 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. 

Stroul holds a bachelor's degree in religious and Middle East studies from the University of Virginia and a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University. She also studied at the American University in Cairo and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.