Senior Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
Areas of Expertise: Middle East; Iraq; Kurdistan Region; Post-Conflict Relief & Reconstruction
Phone: (202) 685-2249
Dr. Denise Natali is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) where she specializes on the Middle East, trans-border Kurdish issue, regional energy security, and post-conflict state-building. Dr. Natali joined INSS in January 2011 as the Minerva Chair, following more than two decades of researching and working in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria.
Dr. Natali is the author of numerous publications on Kurdish politics, economy and energy, including The Kurdish Quasi-State: Development and Dependency in Post-Gulf War Iraq (Syracuse University Press, 2010) and The Kurds and the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey and Iran(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), which was the recipient of the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title (2006) (Trans to Turkish Kurtler ve Devlet: Iraq, Turkiye ve Iran’da Ulusal Kimligin Gelismesi (Istanbul: Avesta Press, 2009). Dr. Natali is currently writing a book on regional energy politics in Iraq (Kurdistan Region and Turkey), the East Mediterranean Basin, and the Caspian Region.
Dr. Natali also specializes in post-conflict relief and reconstruction, having worked on the Gulf Relief Crisis Project for the American Red Cross International Division in Washington D.C., as director of cross-border operations for a non-governmental organization (INGO) in Peshawar Pakistan, and information officer for the U.S Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in northern Iraq in support of Operation Provide Comfort II. Dr. Natali returned to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from 2005-2010, where she engaged in research, teaching and university start-ups, including positions as the Head of the International Politics Department at the University of Kurdistan-Hawler (UKH) and Associate Professor, Dean of Students, and Director of International Exchanges at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimaniya (AUI-S).
Dr. Natali received a Ph.D in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of International Affairs (MIA) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. in government at Franklin&Marshall College. She also has studied at the L’Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, the University of Tehran (Deh Khoda Language Program) and Tel Aviv University. Dr. Natali speaks French, Kurdish and conversational Farsi.
Dr. Natali provides commentary on national and international media sources which have included al-Monitor, the New York Times, Washington Post, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Ilkehaber, al-Zaman, France 24, The Atlantic, Energy Intelligence, Correio Braziliense newspaper, The Kathleen Dunn Show, CNN, Aljazeera Channel, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Milliyet, and South European Times.
“Kurdish Concessions in Baghdad.” Foreign Policy Magazine
“Are the Kurds Still Kingmakers in Iraq?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“Election Imbroglio in Iraqi Kurdistan.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“The Kurds and the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran.” Syracuse University Press
“The Kurdish Quasi-State Development and Dependency in Post–Gulf War Iraq.” Syracuse University Press
Interview of Denise Natali on Kurdish Issues – Voice of America News