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Farah Pandith

Adjunct Senior Fellow

Council on Foreign Relations

Washington, US

Farah Pandith
Katharina Otto-Bernstein
Film Manufacturers Inc.
David Panton
Navigation Capital Partners

Farah’s Biography

Farah Pandith is a prominent thought leader with a focus on diversity and equality, geopolitics and international relations. She holds a wealth of experience as a foreign policy expert and global strategist who has held roles with government agencies, think tanks and public and private entities.

Currently, Farah is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. In these roles, Farah provides in-depth research on foreign policy and analyzes how culture and international relations impact global events.

Farah was a key architect for the Women in Public Service Project, which seeks to close the gender gap in policy and political leadership positions. She continues to serve on the boards of organizations focused on inclusion and diversity, including the Anti-Defamation League & The Aspen Institute's Civil Society Fellowship and the We Are Family Foundation. She was also honored as a Global Peace Laureate by the Muhammad Ali Center.

Her...
Farah Pandith is a prominent thought leader with a focus on diversity and equality, geopolitics and international relations. She holds a wealth of experience as a foreign policy expert and global strategist who has held roles with government agencies, think tanks and public and private entities.

Currently, Farah is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. In these roles, Farah provides in-depth research on foreign policy and analyzes how culture and international relations impact global events.

Farah was a key architect for the Women in Public Service Project, which seeks to close the gender gap in policy and political leadership positions. She continues to serve on the boards of organizations focused on inclusion and diversity, including the Anti-Defamation League & The Aspen Institute's Civil Society Fellowship and the We Are Family Foundation. She was also honored as a Global Peace Laureate by the Muhammad Ali Center.

Her status as an authority on framing global crises stems from her unique background serving as an advisor for three US presidential administrations, including her appointment as the first Special Representative to Muslim Communities in the history of the US. Prior, Farah served as a Sr. Advisor to the Asst. Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs in the State Department and as Director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council.

As a leading voice in cultural intelligence as it relates to foreign policy and international relations, Farah is a sought-after speaker and has received many accolades for her insights and perspective on global issues. In 2019, she published her acclaimed book, “How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat.”
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Farah’s Newsfeed

ISD
Gen-Z & The Digital Salafi Ecosystem

Farah Pandith and ISD explain what Salafism is, and how Gen-X's perceptions are created through the lens of social media. The article examines the ways that Salafism has become attractive to young people through the online ecosystem, and how this affects current culture.

The Economist
Farah Pandith on the success and sorrow of American Muslims

Farah Pandith discusses the impact of how Americans have viewed Muslim people in the wake of 9/11, and the reactions of Muslims following these shifting perspectives.

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Farah’s Background

Council on Foreign Relations
Adjunct Senior Fellow
Dec 2014 - Present
New York, NY, USA
Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is a non-profit organization that specializes in US foreign policy and international affairs.
Harvard Kennedy School
Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
Dec 2014 - Present
Cambridge, MA, USA
Harvard Kennedy School shapes the future of public policy through first-class research and instruction. The institution offers a range of degrees in a variety of subjects including international affairs, politics and economics.
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Farah’s Gallery

Current Board Positions

The Asian American Foundation
Advisory Council
May 2021 - Present
The Asian American Foundation seeks to create better opportunities for those of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage by offering events and promoting equality.
Exponent
Council Member
2020 - Present
New York, NY, USA
Exponent seeks to promote gender equality by bringing together world leaders and decision-makers.
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Previous Board Positions

CSIS Commission on Countering Violent Extremism
Commissioner and Strategic Advisor
Washington, DC, USA
The CSIS Commission on Countering Violent Extremism, CVE, examines and analyzes the best practices for combating the growth of violent extremism at home and abroad.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Chair, Countering Violent Extremism Task Force and Member, Advisory Council
2015 - 2017
Washington, DC, USA
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security works towards improving the nation's security through measures in regards to immigration, customs, anti-terrorism work and other areas of improvement.
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Philanthropy

Muhammad Ali Center
Muhammad Ali Global Peace Laureate
Sep 2020 - Present
Louisville, KY, USA
The Muhammad Ali Center seeks to continue Muhammad Ali's ideals of encouraging all people to be the best that they can be through fundraising events and community programs.
We Are Family Foundation logo We Are Family Foundation logo
We Are Family Foundation
Board of Directors
2014 - Present
New York, NY, USA
The We Are Family Foundation was founded by musician, Nile Rodgers, with the vision to create a global family by encouraging and supporting diversity around the world.

Media

How Sept. 11 became a watershed moment for US policies at home and abroad
Interview
Sep 2021
Drawing upon her experience serving in several administrations, Farah Pandith encourages addressing hate across personal, political and work spaces to combat extremists and the "Us VS. Them" mentality.
MUSLIM AMERICANS’ ‘SEISMIC CHANGE’
Quoted
Sep 2021
Farah Pandith is quoted in this article for the New York Times discussing the “seismic change” felt by American Muslims following the attacks that took place on 9/11.
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Interviews

The Burn Bag Podcast – Dissecting National Security and Foreign Policy
Nov 2021
Farah Pandith joins The Burn Bag Podcast to discuss her experiences engaging with Muslim communities, how to combat violent terrorism and how Muslim people and their identities are affected by the surrounding environment in the US and abroad.

Publications

Domestic Terrorist Plots Against the U.S. Government: How Serious is the Threat?
Co-Author
Mar 2021
Farah Pandith, in this article for the Belfer Center, speaks on how America, as a nation, can continue to change current radical ideology and environment to dissuade extremism and violence in the future.
What Does the Taliban Takeover Mean for Afghanistan and the Region?
Co-Author
Aug 2021
In this article published by the Belfer Center, Farah Pandith examines the ramifications of takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
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Memberships

National Security and Defense Program
Program Expert
Washington, DC, USA
In the midst of international conflict, the National Security and Defense Program at the Council on Foreign Relations seeks to advise leaders and citizens about the possible threats facing the nation.

Awards & Endorsements

Tufts University
Honorary Doctor of Laws
2018
Medford, MA, USA
Farah Pandith received an honorary LL.D. for her various career achievements.
Mount St. Mary's University logo Mount St. Mary's University logo
Mount St. Mary's University
Doctor of Humane Letters
2017
Emmitsburg, MD, USA
Mount St. Mary's University is Catholic university located in Emmitsburg, offering a wide range of degrees in liberal arts studies.
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Academic Appointments

Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics
Spring Fellow
Feb 2014 - Jun 2014
Cambridge, MA, USA
The Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics is a division of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The institute connects academia with politics and public affairs in order to promote and improve public service for the benefit of society.

Speaking Engagements

9/11, 20 years later: Legacies and lessons
Featured Speaker
Sep 2021
Farah Pandith joins a panel titled ‘Lessons for U.S. foreign policy and America’s role in the world’ at the Brookings Institution’s event on the legacies and lessons of September 11.
Social Realities of Indian Americans: Findings From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey
Featured Speaker
Jun 2021
Farah Pandith joined a panel of leading experts in this discussion co-hosted by Carnegie and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF).
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Farah’s Education

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy | Tufts University
Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy | M.A.L.D
1993 - 1995
Smith College
Bachelor of Arts | Government and Psychology
1986 - 1990