Jennifer G. Cooke

  • Jennifer G. Cooke is director of the CSIS Africa Program, which she joined in 2000. The Africa Program covers a broad range of U.S.-Africa policy issues, including security engagement, health assistance, conflict diplomacy, and support for good governance. It places special emphasis on analyzing political and economic dynamics within African states to better inform U.S. policy choices. Ms. Cooke has authored numerous CSIS reports, most recently leading a study commissioned by U.S. Africa Command that examined potential sources of instability in a range of African states. Other recent reports examine South Africa’s evolving health diplomacy, Nigeria’s battle with polio, U.S. approaches to police reform, and China’s evolving role in Africa. With J. Stephen Morrison, she is coeditor of U.S. Africa Policy beyond the Bush Years (CSIS, 2009) and Africa Policy in the Clinton Years (CSIS, 2001). She is a frequent commentator in print, on radio, and on television. She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions, most recently on the threat of Boko Haram in Nigeria, and on the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

    Ms. Cooke previously worked for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa in the U.S. Congress, as well as for the National Academy of Sciences. She has lived in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic and speaks French. She earned an M.A. in African studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in government, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.


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