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Asha Castleberry

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Adjunct Fellow

Asha Castleberry-Hernandez is a distinguished national security/foreign affairs. She has over a decade of experience working as a Middle East Policy Expert in the public and private sectors. For the Biden-Harris Administration, Asha served as a Senior Advisor (Senior Executive Service) in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (Middle East Policy) in the U.S. State Department. 2012-2015, Asha served in Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan. She previously served as the Kuwait Desk Officer in the U.S. Army Central. Asha also served as a Senior Key Leader Engagement Officer for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. Before her deployment, Asha worked in the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where she worked on the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Africa.

Asha is a sought-after expert globally and has worked with many U.S. Ambassadors. This year, Asha served on a panel with high-level Iraqi officials (with Senior officials from members of Parliament and military officers) to discuss combating ISIS and the role of China at the Erbil Security Forum in Iraq.  Asha was a panelist for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, discussing the role of China in Israel and the rest of the Middle East Region at the National American Foreign Policy Committee. She participated as a guest speaker at the 2023 Foreign Policy Institute Black Sea Conference to discuss the Black Sea and Ukraine in Tbilisi, Georgia, with the Former Georgian Ambassador to the United States and additional senior experts. In April 2023, Asha briefed the U.S. Senate with Former U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Douglas Silliman on the Future of Middle East Security.

Asha is also a University Professor. She currently teaches Middle East Studies at St. Joseph University. Previously, she served as a professor teaching international relations, foreign affairs, and national security at Fordham University, George Washington University, and Baruch College.

Currently a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves, Asha is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She’s a Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council member,  an Adjunct Fellow at the American Security Project, and founder of Diversity in National Security Network. She’s been awarded the 2016 Aspen Institute Ideas Scholarship and a scholarship recipient for the Socrates Program. A graduate of Hampton University and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Asha has studied Law and Business in mainland China, and she’s also studied international politics at the University of Oxford’s New College Program. She is a New Leaders Council Fellow and recognized as a Diplomatic Courier “Top 99 Under 33” Foreign Policy Leader and a 2015 Root100 “Top African American Rising Leader.” She has been featured or quoted in numerous media outlets, including CNN, CBS News, Fox News, Washington Post, Washington Times, The Hill, Al-Jazeera English, I24 News International, Lima Charlie News, Uptown Magazine, Elle Magazine, The Root Magazine, Forbes, and more.

She was awarded 40 under 40 Middle East Policy Council Expert, Top 50 National Security Experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Top 40 under 40 Diversity Professors in Color Magazine 2023 Fall Edition.