Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative; Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program
Democratization, economic development, civil society, gender, Middle East
Dr. Isobel Coleman is senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, where she directs CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy initiative and the Women and Foreign Policy program. Her areas of expertise include democratization, civil society, economic development, regional gender issues, educational reform, and microfinance.
Dr. Coleman is the author and coauthor of numerous publications, including Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East (Random House, 2010), Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), and Strategic Foreign Assistance: Civil Society in International Security (Hoover Institution Press, 2006).
Dr. Coleman's writings have also appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, and Forbes, and online venues such as TheAtlantic.com and CNN.com. She also maintains a blog, "Democracy in Development," on CFR.org. She is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences. In 2010, she served as the track leader for the Girls and Women Action Area at the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2011, Newsweek named her as one of "150 Women Who Shake the World."
Prior to CFR, Dr. Coleman was CEO of a healthcare services company and a partner with McKinsey & Co. in New York. A Marshall scholar, she holds a BA in public policy and East Asian studies from Princeton University and MPhil and DPhil degrees in international relations from Oxford University. She serves on several non-profit boards, including Plan USA and Student Sponsor Partners.
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CFR Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and author of Paradise Beneath Her Feet.
A transformation is taking place behind the headlines in the Middle East as women are earning more college degrees, having fewer children, and are entering the workforce in unprecedented numbers. Isobel Coleman talks with Rocky Mountain PBS about these trends and their new relevance after the Arab uprisings.
On DEFCON3 with KT McFarland, Isobel Coleman speaks about the economic crisis that Egypt faces, including dwindling foreign currency reserves, strikes in Port Said, and a plague of locusts.
On "The Lang and O'Leary Exchange," Isobel Coleman comments on the culture of complicity that surrounds violence against women in India and about how women's economic rights relate to gender inequality.