Danielle Pletka is senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she oversees the institute’s work on foreign and defense issues. She writes regularly on national security matters with a special focus on Iran (weapons proliferation), the Middle East (Syria, Israel, ISIS, the Arab Spring), and South Asia.

Before joining AEI, Ms. Pletka was a longtime senior professional staff member for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where she specialized in the Near East and South Asia as the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.

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

A regular guest on television, Ms. Pletka’s appearances include CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” and NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” She has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, and Politico, among other outlets.

She has an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Smith College.


  • Senior Professional Staff Member for the Near East and South Asia, Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, 1992–2002
  • Staff Writer, Insight Magazine, 1987–92
  • Editorial Assistant/Intern, Los Angeles Times and Reuters, Jerusalem, 1984–85


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

B.A., Smith College