Lauren Woods

Director, Security Assistance Monitor

Lauren Woods is the Director of the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy, where she tracks, analyzes, and educates policymakers, media, scholars, and others about trends and issues related to U.S. foreign security assistance. Previously, she was a Vice President at Equanimity Foundation, where she managed strategy and fundraising efforts, and Deputy Director of Programs at Strategic Capacity Group, where she oversaw U.S. Department of State- funded security sector reform programs across North and West Africa. There, she conducted assessments and partnered with security forces and officials in the Central African Republic, Mali, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

Before that, Ms. Woods served as a National Security Fellow through the Brookings Institution in the U.S. Senate. She worked at the Department of State from 2008 to 2015, serving in multiple bureaus and focusing on security and human rights, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work at the State Department included time working in U.S. embassies in Cairo and Baghdad and serving in the Near East Affairs Bureau through the Arab Spring. Before that, she worked for Human Rights First’s Law and Security program in New York.

Ms. Woods received her M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies  SAIS) and her B.A. in Government from the University of Texas. She has published in outlets including The Washington Post, The Hill, U.S. News & World Report, and elsewhere. She speaks Arabic and has lived in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.


The hidden costs of US security cooperation

by Lauren Woods

The United States bears responsibility and has tarnished its image by providing support and arms for those operations, primarily to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Much more needs to be done to ensure a peaceful resolution to the war in Yemen. But at least for now, with respect to the direction of U.S. policy in Yemen, we can breathe a very tentative sigh of relief.

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