Katherine Wilkens

Nonresident Associate
Middle East Program
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Wilkens is a nonresident associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment. Over the last two decades, she has held a number of senior positions in the U.S. government and nonprofit sector.


MPP, Harvard University
International Certificate, London School of Economics 
BA, Cornell University




Katherine Wilkens is a nonresident associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment. She joined Carnegie after five years as a vice president of AMIDEAST, an American nonprofit organization engaged in education, training, and capacity building in the Middle East and North Africa, where she was engaged in promoting higher-education initiatives in the Middle East and partnerships between the United States and the region to expand educational quality and entrepreneurship training. 

She served as president of the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC, from 2004 to 2007, where she spearheaded regional educational initiatives to enhance student and citizen education on foreign policy issues. Prior to that, Wilkens held senior positions in the U.S. government for over a decade, including as senior adviser for Caspian energy issues at the U.S. Department of Energy and staff director and professional staff member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East under the leadership of then chairman Lee H. Hamilton. 

Wilkens began her career as a State Department analyst and specialist on Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. She has been an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Presidential Management Fellow, and a member of the Board of Directors of Meridian International Center. 

She has written and published on a wide range of issues, including Turkey, the Kurdish issue, U.S. policy in the Balkans, and higher-education reform in the Arab world.

  • Syria in Crisis December 29, 2014
    The Middle East in 2015: What to Watch

    Carnegie scholars assess the Middle East in the year ahead, including potential game changers that could have a big impact for the future of the region.

  • Syria in Crisis October 10, 2014
    A Kurdish Alamo: Five Reasons the Battle for Kobane Matters

    The outcome of the battle for Kobane will have significant implications for the fight against the Islamic State and developments in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq moving forward.

  • Op-Ed Weekly Wonk June 22, 2014
    Iraq Revisited (Again)

    The growing strength and influence of ISIS is rooted in a deep-seated regional disagreement over the nature of the threat posed by jihadist extremists. Until the fight against ISIS is decoupled from the sectarian fires engulfing the region, efforts to make progress against the group will flounder.

  • Article February 13, 2014 عربي
    The Egypt Effect: Sharpened Tensions, Reshuffled Alliances

    Throughout the Middle East, the overthrow of Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi has heightened Islamist-secularist tensions and pushed actors toward zero-sum politics.

  • Syria in Crisis October 29, 2013
    Maliki and the Syrian Kurds

    The battle for al-Yarubiya, a border crossing point along the Syrian-Iraqi border, is an extension of the broader regional battle for control of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon by jihadists.

  • Global Ten November 29, 2012
    Awakening to a New Arab World

    Furthering the cause of democracy in the Middle East requires realistic, pragmatic U.S. leadership to encourage reform and promote the development of civil society in the region.

  • Op-Ed National Interest August 2, 2012
    Avoiding the Iraq Experience in Syria

    The U.S. experience in Iraq suggests that foreign military involvement could not have prevented the scenario we now see unfolding in Syria.

  • February 12, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Battle Against the Islamic State: Where Do We Go From Here?

    Six months since the creation of the international coalition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), the military campaign is entering a new phase following the gruesome murder of a Jordanian pilot and the defeat of IS in Kobane last month.

  • January 23, 2015 Washington, DC
    Global Oil and the Middle East Economic Outlook

    The steady decline of global oil prices since June 2014 is shifting economic, political, and strategic calculations of key Middle East actors, and adding a new element of uncertainty at a time of increased regional conflict and polarization.

  • June 4, 2014 Washington, DC
    Redefining Citizenship in the Arab World

    The recent popular uprisings in the Arab world sought to dismantle authoritarian political regimes and address profound societal inequities. However, they also triggered fundamental questions about the relationship between citizens and the state, as well as the rights and obligations of citizenship.

  • November 22, 2013 Washington, DC
    Turkey’s Democratization Process: Accomplishments and Challenges

    Turkey’s political landscape has been shaken by developments at home and in the region over the last six months, shifting the country’s democratic path onto a new course.

  • June 12, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    Jordan in the Regional Context

    Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh delivered an address at Carnegie on the Jordanian perspective regarding recent developments in the Middle East.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=713

Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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