IssuesCivil Society Conflict Crisis Management Democratic Transitions Elections Extremism Geopolitics & Energy Security International Norms Migration National Security Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Political Reform Politics & Diplomacy Resilience Resilience & Society Security & Defense Terrorism
Dr. Patrick Quirk is a nonresident senior fellow in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He also serves as senior director for strategy, research, and the Center for Global Impact at the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting democracy worldwide. In this role, he manages the team of more than 50 thematic experts, researchers, and global project staff who help IRI monitor and address emerging challenges to democracy globally.
Before joining IRI, Dr. Quirk served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning staff in the Department of State as the lead advisor for fragile states, conflict and stabilization, and foreign assistance. Prior to Policy Planning, he served in State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) as Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy. In this capacity, he was the chief political scientist for, and a lead author of, the 2018 Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR); led the team that developed and institutionalized CSO’s approach to mitigate conflict surrounding elections and political transitions; and deployed to Myanmar, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tunisia to work on conflict prevention efforts. During his government service, Quirk received several Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.
From 2019 to 2021, Quirk was a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy Program of the Brookings Institution, writing extensively on U.S. foreign policy, democracy assistance, and addressing threats from non-state armed actors. From 2017-2018, he was a nonresident Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Prior to government service, Dr. Quirk was a Research Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, working on international order and U.S. foreign assistance. Prior to GMF, he was a Senior Manager at Creative Associates International, where he led risk assessments for the U.S. government, managed democracy assistance and conflict prevention programs in East Africa and the Middle East and was responsible for business development.
His published articles and commentary have appeared in various outlets, including The American Interest, American Purpose, Just Security, Foreign Policy, the Financial Times, NPR, and Real Clear Defense. His book, Great Powers, Weak States, and Insurgency: Explaining Internal Threat Alliances, was published in 2017.
Dr. Quirk is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, teaching courses on stabilization operations and political violence. Quirk earned a B.A. in History from Bates College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University.