Salih Booker

Salih Booker

President & CEO

Salih Booker has over thirty years of experience in international affairs and US foreign policy, including leadership of several U.S. and international research and advocacy organizations.

Booker became President of the Center for International Policy on September 1, 2017. From 2015-2017, he served as the vice president of external relations at the United States Institute of Peace, and before that as an advisor to the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Booker directed the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions in Geneva, Switzerland, and was executive director at Global Rights and Africa Action, both in Washington, D.C. He was also a Senior Fellow and Director of Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and served twice in the U.S. Congress as professional staff for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Earlier Booker was a program officer for the Ford Foundation in Eastern and Southern Africa, an Associate Director for Catholic Relief Services in Southern Africa and a legislative assistant at TransAfrica. He has also consulted for a range of institutions including the United Nations Development Program, The Carnegie Corporation, the Asia Society, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

He has spent half of his career abroad and lived in Ghana, Kenya, France, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Switzerland, Peru and Ethiopia and has traveled for work to over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Mr. Booker was educated at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Ghana and Wesleyan University.


January 7, 2021

CIP Condemns Violent Attempted Overturn of the 2020 Elections

by Salih Booker

Click link to read full statement.

CIP Condemns Violent Attempted Overturn of the 2020 Elections
December 17, 2020

Priorities for Progress 2021: Foreign Policy

Co-lead by Salih Booker

In the face of a global pandemic, global calls for racial justice, and the existential threat that is climate change, we have a once in a generation opportunity to reimagine a foreign policy based on universal human rights, mutual respect, acceptance of differences, and the common good. A progressive foreign policy would prioritize cooperation over competition, dignity over dehumanization, equity and equality over white supremacy and patriarchy, and solidarity over exploitation. While reversing disastrous Trump policies is a vital first step, we must go further to democratize and demilitarize U.S. foreign policy to meet the most serious challenges of the 21st century. We call upon the Congress and the next administration to:
End the endless wars and reliance on military interventionism to solve conflict; End the misallocation of national resources to the Pentagon and massively downsize the U.S. global infrastructure of violence; and Invest in diplomacy, multilateralism, development, peacebuilding, and the enforcement of international law to address the greatest challenges that face the United States and all of humanity.

Priorities for Progress 2021: Foreign Policy


July 2, 2021

The Willful Self-Delusion of American Independence Day

by Salih Booker and Diana Ohlbaum

On Independence Day, many Americans celebrate throwing off the yoke of oppression by a distant power. They recall the unfairness and indignity of life under colonial rule. What too many Americans haven’t done is reckon with the fact that the founders of our nation were colonizers, not colonized, and that in the 245 years since declaring its independence, the United States has only expanded the scope of its imperial domination.

May 21, 2021

Israel's Military, Made in the USA

by Salih Booker and William Hartung

US aid fuels the Israeli military. Could it also become a point of leverage for peace? Our CEO, Salih Booker, and Director of Arms & Security, William Hartung, explores this question in their new article for The Nation.

May 21, 2021

'A radical change': America's new generation of Pro-Palestinian voices

Salih Booker quoted

“This political activism has been building for decades. It’s hard to point to exactly what grain of sand has now been added to this side of the scales, but I think we’re approaching a new tipping point where the entire debate is being reframed.” CIP President Salih Booker expresses his optimism in this article in The Guardian.

May 19, 2021

How U.S Taxpayers Are Invested in the Palestine-Israel Conflict

by Salih Booker

CIP President Salih Booker writes about the troubling lack of transparency in US security assistance to Israel and how this conflicts with our professed diplomatic goals.