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.

Recent Press

The International Pressure to Prosecute Sudan's al-Bashir


Sudan's former president is one step closer to prosecution for the egregious war crimes he allegedly committed. During Omar al-Bashir’s 30 years in power, Sudan descended into civil war. Now, as the country’s transitional government conducts peace talks with rebel leaders, it has agreed to send Bashir to trial. Amna Nawaz gets analysis from Salih Booker of the Center for International Policy.

Salih Booker interviewed

Africa Program

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed awarded Nobel Peace Prize


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize this week for his work lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners and increasing the role of women in political life. But his most significant accomplishment was making peace with neighboring Eritrea. Amna Nawaz talks to the Center for International Policy's Salih Booker for more.

Salih Booker interviewed

Africa Program

A Hearing On Africa: Questions Unanswered, Questions Unasked By Salih Booker And Temi Ibirogba


The whole framework harkens back to the wasteful, destructive, and corrosive Cold War era of big power competition in Africa where the political and economic aspirations of Africans were largely ignored.

by Salih Booker and Temi Ibirogba

Africa Program

The Militarization of U.S. Policy toward Africa


The United State Government’s overall orientation toward Africa has, since September 11, 2001, increasingly been defined by the militarization of U.S.-Africa relations. In 2003, the George W. Bush administration established the first permanent U.S. base on the continent in Djibouti. In 2007, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was created. In 2016, construction on the $110 million Reaper drone base in Agadez, Niger began and is scheduled for completion in mid-2019.

by Salih Booker and Temi Ibirogba

Africa Program

In northern Africa, can the people’s discontent translate to democracy?


Protesters in Sudan, Algeria, Libya and Mali are continuing to call for democratic reforms. Amid this moment of regional volatility, international power struggles threaten to push national dynamics past the breaking point...

Salih Booker interviewed

Africa Program

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