Director for Regional Security, Middle East, Atlantic Council
Kirsten Fontenrose is the director for regional security in the Atlantic Council’s Middle East division. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Fontenrose was senior vice president of Global Relations for the DC-based consulting firm Sonoran Policy Group. Her work there built indigenous capacity for partner countries in fields that prepare them to address emerging threats. In 2018, Fontenrose served as senior director for the Gulf at the National Security Council, leading the development of U.S. policy toward the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan. Prior to this return to government service, she spent a year in the private sector consulting on specialized projects in the national security space. Her interagency experience includes five years at the Department of State leading the Middle East and Africa team in the interagency Global Engagement Center. Previously, Fontenrose worked with a field team studying foreign populations for Department of Defense Theater Special Operations Commands and the intelligence community. She holds a BA in Middle East studies from the College of William and Mary, an MA from Indiana University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.