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Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Senior Fellow

Areas of Impact:

Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Global War on Terrorism, Somalia, Terrorist Detainees, Islamism, Homegrown Terrorism, Pakistan, Iraq, Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Energy Security

Biography:

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His professional focus is on understanding how violent non-state actors (VNSAs) are transforming the world, and how states are in turn trying to adapt to this challenge. Gartenstein-Ross has specialized in jihadist movements, including undertaking detailed research into al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS), Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Boko Haram, and ISIS’s Wilayat Sinai. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Valens Global, a consulting firm focused on the challenges posed by VNSAs, as well as a Fellow with Google’s Jigsaw, an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His professional focus is on understanding how violent non-state actors (VNSAs) are transforming the world, and how states are in turn trying to adapt to this challenge. Gartenstein-Ross has specialized in jihadist movements, including undertaking detailed research into al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS), Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Boko Haram, and ISIS’s Wilayat Sinai. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Valens Global, a consulting firm focused on the challenges posed by VNSAs, as well as a Fellow with Google’s Jigsaw, an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program.

Known for his rigorous scholarship, and also putting ideas into action as a practitioner, Gartenstein-Ross is the author or volume editor of twenty-one books and monographs. He has published widely in the popular and academic press, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, and Terrorism & Political Violence. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the leading peer-reviewed journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. As a practitioner, some of Gartenstein-Ross’s recent projects have included:

  • delivering regular briefings and assessments to U.S. government agencies on such topics as ISIS’s European attack network, the implications of the failed coup in Turkey on counterterrorism efforts, and the strategic implications of the Libyan civil war; 
  • organizing and facilitating a conference in Nigeria, as an EU-appointed Strategic Communication Expert, helping civil society activists understand militant groups’ use of social media and forge a strategic action plan for countering it;
  • mapping the online counter-ISIS narrative space for a leading tech firm designing a pilot project to divert users who may be susceptible to the jihadist group’s propaganda;
  • producing reports for major oil and gas firms interested in protecting their investments and personnel on the capabilities and future trajectory of militant groups based in Africa;
  • serving as a subject-matter consultant on militant groups during live hostage negotiations;
  • designing and delivering lectures and training for U.S. government personnel through such programs as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Individual Terrorism Awareness Course and the Naval Postgraduate School's Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace (LDESP) program;
  • designing and leading strategic simulations exploring the competition between VNSAs and state actors for major academic institutions such as Johns Hopkins University.

Gartenstein-Ross has testified on his areas of core competency before the U.S. House and Senate a dozen times, as well as before the Canadian House of Commons. He has also served as an expert witness in seven asylum cases. He is frequently a featured speaker at events and conferences throughout the globe, including delivering keynote speeches at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Commander’s Conference, the University of Southern California’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), and the Global Futures Forum. Other venues where Gartenstein-Ross has spoken include the Royal United Services Institute (London), the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies (Kazakhstan), Uppsala University (Sweden), the National Defence College (Abu Dhabi), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Minerva Research Initiative, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Gartenstein-Ross holds a Ph.D. in world politics from the Catholic University of America and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law. He can conduct research in five languages.

His e-mail address is daveed@defenddemocracy.org, and he is active on Twitter as @DaveedGR.

Read full bio

US Policy in Afghanistan: What to Expect from Trump

6th February 2017 – Centre on Religion and Geopolitics

US Policy in Afghanistan: What to Expect from Trump

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Can Trump scale back involvement in Afghanistan while keeping his inauguration pledge to 'eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth?' Three analysts have their say. more...

Analysis & Commentary

22nd February 2017 – NewsTalk AM1130

Justice & Drew

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross comments on McMaster as the new National Security Advisor and its impact on the war with ISIS. more...

22nd February 2017 – Quoted by Natalie Johnson - The Washington Free Beacon

Political Instability in Africa Could Lead to ISIS Resurgence

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State has faced significant defeats in Africa over the past year but political instability across the northern and western regions could offer a ripe breeding ground for the terrorist group to resurge, according to a new report. more...

20th February 2017 – FDD Press

Islamic State 2021

Islamic State 2021

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State (referred to in this report as ISIL) has seen its prospects in North and West Africa grow increasingly dim since early 2015. ISIL has experienced significant losses in North Africa in the past year, especially in Libya, which was once ISIL’s most valuable territory outside of Syria and Iraq, and was home to the group’s unofficial African capital. more...

20th February 2017 – FDD Press Release

Despite Recent Losses, Islamic State Still Threatens North and West Africa, FDD Study Finds

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The decline of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria may paradoxically help the group in Africa, particularly as state and non-state actors shift resources from combating ISIL to other urgent issues, giving the group breathing room to regenerate, according to a report issued today by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). more...