Stephanie Sanok Kostro

  • Stephanie Sanok Kostro is acting director of the CSIS Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program and a senior fellow with the CSIS International Security Program, where she focuses on a range of "seam" issues affecting defense, foreign affairs, and development. Her research interests include defense policy and strategy, U.S. government stabilization and reconstruction efforts, the nexus between security and economic development, transitions of post-conflict responsibilities, and U.S. military activities to partner with foreign nations and other organizations. Prior to joining CSIS, Mrs. Kostro served at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, where she developed policy options for the U.S. government’s efforts to support a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq. She collaborated closely with military and civilian colleagues to revise the Joint Campaign Plan—an interagency strategy to strengthen U.S. relations with Iraq along political, economic, energy, rule of law, and security lines of operation and identify strategic risks and transition issues related to the U.S. military withdrawal. From 2005 to 2008, Mrs. Kostro was a senior professional staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, where she led a team on overarching defense policy topics, such as military strategy, detention operations, export controls and technology security, troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Pentagon’s role in foreign assistance and civil aspects of overseas operations. At the Pentagon from 1998 to 2005, she worked in the secretary of defense’s counterproliferation, European, and NATO policy offices and, as a Presidential Management Fellow, completed rotations in the secretary of defense’s policy, comptroller, and personnel/readiness offices, in the Joint Staff’s Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, and at the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo and the U.S. mission to NATO. Mrs. Kostro received a master of public policy degree with concentrations in international security policy and conflict resolution from Harvard University and a degree in communication and international relations from Cornell University.

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