Elections 2020Sep 29, 2020
Five big questions as America votes: Middle East
By Middle East Programs
In every US presidential election since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Middle East and North Africa has been a top foreign policy issue. The 2020 presidential election is no different.
Jasmine M. El-Gamal was a nonresident senior fellow with the Middle East program at the Atlantic Council, where she focused primarily on U.S. and European policies on the Middle East, in particular on Syria and the implications of the conflict for the region, Europe and the United States. From November 2018-March 2019, El-Gamal served as a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, where she focused on European policy towards the Syria refugee crisis. Her research is captured in the policy brief, “The Displacement Dilemma: Should Europe Help Syria’s Refugees Return Home?”
Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, El-Gamal served as a Middle East advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy from 2008-2013, where she handled the Iraq, Lebanon and Syria portfolios. During her tenure, she covered issues related to the Arab Spring, ISIS, and Guantanamo Bay, among others, and served as the Acting Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy. From 2013-2015, El-Gamal was the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to three consecutive Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy, where she helped prepare senior leadership for high-level White House meetings, foreign trips and engagements with foreign counterparts. In 2003, she served in Iraq as a translator and cultural advisor for the 82nd Airborne Division during the initial stage of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she facilitated dialogue and cooperation between the US military and the local Iraqi population in Southern Iraq. Since then, El-Gamal has worked throughout her career in national security to incorporate and promote inter-faith and inter-cultural understanding between the various stakeholders. Her commentary on Middle East policy has been featured in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, USA Today, Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, Al-Hurra, Al-Jazeera English, TRT World and the European Council on Foreign Relations, among others. She is also the co-producer of Unwelcome, an award-winning documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis filmed in Greece. El-Gamal holds an MS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and a BS in Marketing from Clarkson University.