Jennifer G. Cooke

  • Jennifer Cooke is director of the CSIS Africa Program, which she joined in 2000. The program provides balanced and forward-looking analysis of political and economic dynamics within African states to better inform U.S. policy choices. Ms. Cooke covers a broad range of U.S.-Africa policy issues, including security engagement, health assistance, conflict diplomacy, and support for good governance. She currently leads the CSIS Nigeria Election Forum, a two-year project that examines the major challenges associated with Nigeria’s 2015 elections, and a study analyzing the intersection of religion and politics in Africa. With Africa Program senior associate David Goldwyn and Energy and National Security Program director Sarah Ladislaw, she also cochairs a CSIS project on Africa’s new oil and gas producers and the implications of the continent’s changing energy landscape for U.S. Africa policy.

    Ms. Cooke has authored numerous CSIS reports, including most recently Africa at a Crossroads: Overcoming Obstacles to Sustained Growth and Economic Transformation (May 2014) and Launching a New Chapter in U.S.-Africa Relations: Deepening the Business Relationship (February 2014). 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 public speaker and commentator in print, on radio, and on television, and she has testified before Congress on Boko Haram in Nigeria, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, and the African Union. Prior to CSIS, she worked at the National Academy of Sciences in the Office of Human Rights and the Office of News and Public Information and at the U.S. Congress on the House Subcommittee on Africa. She has lived in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic.