Natali, Denise

Director, Center for Strategic Research


 Email |  (202) 685-3837

Areas of Expertise:  Post-Conflict Stabilization, Middle East, Iraq, Turkey, Counter-Terrorism

Dr. Denise Natali is the Director and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies, at the National Defense University, where she specializes in the Middle East, Iraq, Kurdish issue, and post-conflict stabilization. Dr. Natali previously served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the Department of State, as well as positions with non-governmental organizations, USAID/DART, the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, and the American Red Cross in Peshawar, Pakistan, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and Washington, D.C., respectively.

Dr. Natali is the author of numerous publications, op-eds, and analyses on Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Kurds, and countering ISIL.  Her books include The Kurdish Quasi-State: Development and Dependency in Post-Gulf War Iraq and The Kurds and the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, which received the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title.

Dr. Natali received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a B.A. in government at Franklin & Marshall College. She studied at L’Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, the University of Tehran Deh Khoda Language Program, and Tel Aviv University.  Dr. Natali is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and speaks French and conversational Kurdish and Farsi.