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. Ms. Pletka writes regularly on national security matters with a special focus on Iran, the Middle East (Syria, Israel, ISIS), and South Asia. She is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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 has authored, coauthored, and coedited a variety of studies, monographs, and book chapters, including the report “Tehran Stands Atop the Syria-Iran Alliance” (Atlantic Council, 2017); the chapter “America in Decline” in “Debating the Obama Presidency” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016); “America vs. Iran: The Competition for the Future of the Middle East” (AEI, 2014); “Iranian Influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI, 2012); “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI, 2011); and “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI, 2008).

A regular guest on television, Ms. Pletka appears frequently on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” Her broadcast appearances also include CBS News, CNN, C-SPAN, and MSNBC. 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.


  • Georgetown University: Adjunct Professor, Walsh School of Foreign Service, 2017–present
  • Senate Committee on Foreign Relations: Senior Professional Staff Member for the Near East and South Asia, 1992–2002
  • Insight Magazine: Staff Writer, 1987–92
  • Los Angeles Times and Reuters: Editorial Assistant/Intern, Jerusalem, 1984–85


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