About the Expert

Expert Bio

Jamille Bigio is a senior fellow in the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. In the Obama administration, Bigio served as director for human rights and gender on the White House National Security Council staff. She also advised the White House Council on Women and Girls on its international priorities and first lady Michelle Obama on adolescent girls’ education and the Let Girls Learn initiative. From 2009 to 2013, Bigio served as senior advisor to U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women's issues, Melanne Verveer, within the office of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In addition, she was detailed to the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy and to the U.S. Mission to the African Union.

Bigio led the interagency launch of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, an effort for which she was recognized with the U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Award and the U.S. Department of Defense Secretary of Defense Honor Award.

Previously, at the United Nations, she worked to strengthen disaster management in Africa and the Middle East. She has worked at the grassroots level for public health nongovernmental organizations, and her research on development, human rights, and displacement was supported by the World Bank and the Brookings Institution.

Bigio has presented to congressional committees and lectures widely on peace and security, including at Harvard University, the UN Foundation, and the American Society of International Law. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and her commentary and opinions have appeared in The Washington Post, CNN, The Hill, Newsweek, and US News & World Report, among other outlets. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. Bigio graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland and received her Master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. She currently writes on gender and security, women’s leadership, and economic development. 


  • Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, advisory board
  • Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City, consultant

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