About the Expert

Expert Bio

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Daughters of KobaniAshley's War, and The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, the latter of which were both New York Times best sellers.

Lemmon is a contributor to the Atlantic’s Defense One site, writing on national security and foreign policy issues, and a former contributing editor at Newsweek Daily Beast. She also writes regularly on Afghanistan’s politics and economy, entrepreneurship in fragile states, the fight to end child marriage, and issues affecting women and girls for publications including the New York TimesFinancial TimesFast Company, Christian Science Monitor, and CNN.com.

Lemmon regularly appears on a number of broadcast networks, including PBS, MSNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio, to discuss foreign policy issues. In December 2011, she gave the opening talk at TEDxWomen, which focused on why investing in women can make the difference for the global economy. Her presentation was named a "TED Talk of the Day."

From 1997 to 2004, Lemmon covered presidential politics and public policy issues for the ABC News Political Unit and served as an editorial producer during the first year of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” In 2004, she left ABC News to pursue her interest in international development and began MBA study at Harvard.  After business school, she served as a vice president at the global investment firm PIMCO, where she worked in the executive office and in emerging markets.

Lemmon graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She received an MBA from Harvard, as well as the 2006 Dean’s Award for her work on women’s entrepreneurship. She served as a Fulbright scholar in Spain and a Robert Bosch Foundation fellow in Germany. She speaks Spanish, German, and French, and is conversant in Dari. She serves on the boards of Mercy Corps and the International Center for Research on Women.


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