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Elisa Catalano

Elisa Catalano

Senior Advisor to the MAGP & Adjunct Lecturer

  • Campus Location: Washington DC


Elisa Catalano Ewers is on the adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and an expert on U.S. national security and foreign policy. Her commentary has appeared in such outlets as The Washington Post, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, CNN, The National Interest, and XM Radio.She served in both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations in senior positions such as Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council; Senior Policy Advisor on the Middle East to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, covering the range of security, political, and economic issues in the Middle East and North Africa, and also Counter-Terrorism; Chief of Staff to the Secretary’s Special Representative for Iraq; Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for South West Asia; Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs; a Deputy Director assigned to U.S. Embassy Baghdad; and Senior Advisor embedded with the Department of Defense. Her public service culminated in selection as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Her portfolios covered a range of policy issues, and on the Middle East specifically included negotiations with Iran; U.S. relations with Israel, the Levant, Iraq, the Gulf Arab states, Egypt and the Maghreb as well as the Sahel. Prior to government service, she worked for seven years in the private sector at such firms as Booz Allen Hamilton and Wellington Management Company.



  • Middle East
  • Northern Africa


  • Security
  • U.S. Foreign Policy