Welcome to a new series that spotlights individuals within the Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program. Drawing on the enormous amount of talent and expertise within the Council’s Term Member Program, this series features a term member in conversation with a fellow term member discussing their career path, how they got to where they are, the challenges they have faced along the way, and the current work they are doing. We hope this regular series will provide an opportunity for Council term members to better engage and learn from one another, draw upon shared experiences within the group, and connect across geographies.
This installment in this series features third-year term member Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, senior advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and major in the U.S. Army Reserve, in conversation with second-year term member Brian Mateo, associate dean of civic engagement for Bard College. For those of you who do not know her yet, Asha is a distinguished national security expert whose career includes serving as the Kuwait desk officer at U.S. Army Central, working on security cooperation with the Office of Military Cooperation and the Kuwait Ministry of Defense, and senior key leadership engagement officer for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Kuwait. During the Obama administration, Asha served at the U.S. Mission at the United Nations working peacekeeping operations in Africa. In 2020, Asha ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress in New York District 17. In addition to her work in government, she is a founder of Diversity in National Security Network, board member of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation, and international strategy fellow with Schmidt Futures.