Subscribe to FDD

Our Team

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

The Manchester Attack Shows How Terrorists Learn

23rd May 2017 – The Atlantic

The Manchester Attack Shows How Terrorists Learn

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Yesterday’s terrorist attack that struck at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Britain’s Manchester Arena—leaving 22 people dead and 59 injured, by the latest count—feels perhaps even more callous and personal than other such recent atrocities. As The New York Times noted, the target was “a concert spilling over with girls in their teens or younger, with their lives ahead of them, out for a fun night.” more...

Analysis & Commentary

22nd July 2017 – Quoted by VOA Learning - English

West Faces Long War with Islamic State Group

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

“If they are in Raqqa, they’re gonna die in Raqqa.” Those are the words of Brett McGurk, the United States’ top representative to the coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) group. Last month, McGurk spoke about IS forces in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. He declared their foreign fighters would be targeted. more...

14th July 2017 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - VOA News

Down But Not Out: West Faces Long War Against Islamic State

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

America's top envoy to the coalition battling the Islamic State, Brett McGurk, declared last month open season on the terror group's foreign recruits in the besieged northern Syrian city. more...

12th July 2017 – KTLK

Justice & Drew

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD's Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses victory over the Islamic State. more...

6th July 2017 –

BBC World Service

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Tourism numbers in Africa are up - fuelled by visitors from within the continent. Zambia's President Lungu gives the police more powers but stops short of declaring a state of emergency. And Biafran War veterans remember the conflict 50 years on. more...