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.