Nancy Okail

Nancy Okail

President and CEO

Nancy Okail is President and CEO of the Center for International Policy. Dr. Okail is a leading scholar, policy analyst, and advocate with more than 20 years of experience working on issues of human rights, democracy, and security in the Middle East and North Africa region.


In 2020, Okail was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University, focusing on accountability and the intersection of human rights and technology. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as Executive Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), which under her leadership became an internationally renowned policy research organization.


Before coming to the United States, Okail worked on, managed, and evaluated foreign aid programs for several international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. In her subsequent role as Director of Freedom House’s Egypt program, Okail was one of the 43 nongovernmental organization workers convicted and sentenced to prison in a widely publicized 2012 case for allegedly using foreign funds to foment unrest in Egypt. She was then exonerated by a court ruling in December of 2018.

Okail holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex in the UK. Her policy analysis and political commentary have been featured in top outlets including the Washington Post, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Lawfare. She has been interviewed or quoted by The Guardian, BBC World News, MSNBC, and Al Jazeera, and she regularly speaks on current affairs panels at world fora and academic institutions.

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