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.
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.
'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.
Israel's Military, Made in the USA
Salih Booker and William Hartung
Arms & Security Program
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.
How U.S Taxpayers Are Invested in the Palestine-Israel Conflict
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.
U.S. Begins Withdrawing Troops from Somalia, but Regional Hurdles Remain
Salih Booker Interviewed
"The military victory is out of the reach of the federal government. It's out of the reach of the U.S. government. But it's also unlikely that Al-Shabaab can achieve a decisive military victory. And, therefore, it's time to change the strategic goal to one of political reconciliation and peace negotiations."