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

America’s Disdain for Black Lives Extends to Africa

by Salih Booker

Africa Program


Increased militarization on the continent under Trump is part of a long history of institutionalized racism in U.S. foreign policy.

Exclusive: The US military’s plans to cement its network of African bases

Salih Booker quoted

Africa Program


“The plans, whether they materialise or not, seem to indicate that the Pentagon is interested in expanding its infrastructure in Africa, for drone ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and drone warfare, as well as training camps and lily-pad bases for increasing the US capacity to project force in key regions, the Horn of Africa, East Africa and the Sahel,” said Salih Booker, the president and chief executive of the Center for International Policy in Washington DC.

The International Pressure to Prosecute Sudan's al-Bashir

Salih Booker interviewed

Africa Program


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.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Salih Booker interviewed

Africa Program


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.

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

by Salih Booker and Temi Ibirogba

Africa Program


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.

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