Denise Natali, Ph.D.

Director, INSS

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

Dr. Denise Natali is the Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at National Defense University (NDU). She previously served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the Department of State. Dr. Natali has also held positions with a non-governmental organization in Peshawar, Pakistan, the American Red Cross in Washington D.C., and USAID/DART and the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Dr. Natali specializes in the Middle East, Iraq, Kurdish issue, and post-conflict stabilization and is the author of numerous publications op-eds, and analyses.  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.