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Mona Yacoubian currently serves as USAID’s deputy assistant administrator for the Middle East, with oversight of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
Prior to joining USAID in July 2014, Yacoubian was a senior adviser for the Stimson Center’s Middle East program, where her work focused on the Arab uprisings with an emphasis on Syria. Her experience includes directing Pathways to Progress: Peace, Prosperity and Change in the Middle East, a joint initiative with the George C. Marshall Foundation that explored the dynamics propelling the Arab uprisings and sought innovative policy solutions to the challenges accompanying the Arab transitions. Yacoubian also co-directed the Stimson-U.S. Institute of Peace Lebanon Working Group.
Prior to joining the Stimson Center, Yacoubian served as a special adviser and senior program officer on the Middle East at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where her work focused on Lebanon and Syria as well as broader issues related to democratization in the Arab world. From 1990 to 1998, she served as an analyst at the U.S. Department of State for political, economic and social developments in North Africa.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Yacoubian was a Fulbright Scholar in Syria, where she studied Arabic at the University of Damascus from 1985 to 1986. She has held an International Affairs Fellowship with the Council on Foreign Relations. She is well traveled throughout the region, with a working knowledge of Arabic and French.
She has published numerous analyses on a wide-ranging set of Middle East-related issues, including U.S. democracy promotion efforts in the region, the Syrian uprising and its regional spillover impacts, and the spread of Islamist militancy. She has also been a frequent commentator for U.S. and international media outlets.
Yacoubian holds a Master’s Degree in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, with a focus on international development and Middle East politics, and a Bachelor’s Degree in public policy from Duke University, where she studied abroad at the American University in Cairo.
Last updated: January 12, 2016