Elisa Catalano Ewers

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Peace and Security Initiative

Ewers Elisa

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Arab transitions, Counterterrorism, GCC, International Security, Middle East Security, US Foreign Policy, US National Security Policy, US-Gulf relations




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Elisa Catalano Ewers is a nonresident senior fellow at the Middle East Peace and Security Initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

From 2005 to 2016, Elisa Catalano Ewers served as foreign policy and national security expert in the US government. Her last position was as a director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council staff. Prior to her position at the White House, she acted as senior policy advisor to US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and before that to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns. She advised on foreign and national security policy with a broad Middle East and counterterrorism focus, covering the range of security, political, and economic issues. Her portfolio included areas such as the Iran negotiations, US policies in response to the "Arab Spring," transition in Iraq, and relations with the Gulf Arab states. Elisa also served in additional assignments at the State Department including senior advisor to the assistant secretary for Near East affairs, chief of staff to the secretary of state's coordinator for Iraq, and service in the US Embassy Baghdad.

Prior to her government service, Elisa spent seven years as a consultant and analyst at private sector firms including Booz Allen Hamilton and Wellington Management Company, where she developed strategic communications plans to roll out priority initiatives, developed new institutional structures and capacities designed to optimize effectiveness, and managed programs focused on delivering results. Elisa is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She is married to a US Marine and lives in Washington, DC.

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