Africa Program Director, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Jennifer Cooke is director of the CSIS Africa Program, where she manages a range of projects on political, economic, and security dynamics in Africa, providing research and analysis to U.S. policymakers, members of Congress, and the U.S. military, as well as the broader public. She is a frequent writer and lecturer on U.S.-Africa policy, on political and economic trends across the continent, and on emergent security threats. She recently led the CSIS Nigeria Election Forum, a two-year project examining the major challenges associated with Nigeria’s 2015 elections; cochaired a CSIS project on Africa’s new oil and gas producers; and directed a multiyear study on the intersection of religion and politics in Africa.
Cooke has authored or coauthored numerous CSIS reports, including most recently Rethinking Engagement in Fragile States (June 2015); Africa’s New Energy Producers: Making the Most of Emergent Opportunities (January 2015); Africa at a Crossroads: Overcoming Obstacles to Sustained Growth and Economic Transformation (May 2014), and Launching a New Chapter in U.S.-Africa Relations: Deepening the Business Relationship (February 2014). With J. Stephen Morrison, she is coeditor of U.S. Africa Policy beyond the Bush Years (CSIS, 2009) and Africa Policy in the Clinton Years (CSIS, 2001). She is a frequent commentator in print, on radio, and on television, and she has testified before Congress on Boko Haram in Nigeria, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, and the African Union. Prior to CSIS, she worked at the National Academy of Sciences in the Office of Human Rights and the Office of News and Public Information and in the U.S. Congress on the House Subcommittee on Africa. She holds an M.A. in African studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in government, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. She has lived in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic.