Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow
for U.S. Foreign Policy
Isobel Coleman is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where she focuses on the Middle East and South Asia. She is the director of CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative. She is also the director of CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy Program. Her areas of expertise include democratization, civil society and economic development, regional gender issues, educational reform, and microfinance. She is the author and co-author of numerous publications, including Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East (Random House, 2010), Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), and Strategic Foreign Assistance: Civil Society in International Security (Hoover Press, 2006). Her writings have also appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and online venues such as the TheAtlantic.com and CNN.com. She maintains a blog, “Democracy in Development,” on CFR.org. Dr. Coleman is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences. In 2010, she served as a track leader for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2011, Newsweek named her as one of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”
Prior to joining the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Coleman was CEO of a healthcare services company and a partner with McKinsey & Co. in New York. A Marshall Scholar, she holds a DPhil and MPhil in international relations from Oxford University and a BA in public policy and East Asian studies from Princeton University. She serves on several non-profit boards, including Plan USA and Student Sponsor Partners.
Follow her on Twitter @Isobel_Coleman.