As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relations senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


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  • Senior Professional Staff Member for Near East and South Asia, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, 1992-2002
  • Staff Writer, Insight Magazine, 1987-92
  • Editorial Assistant, Los Angeles Times and Reuters, Jerusalem, 1984-85


M.A., School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Smith College