Shahla Al-Kli is the Middle East Deputy Regional Director at Mercy Corps and a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute. She served as a principal development specialist at DAI Global, was previously a senior advisor to the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, an advisor to the speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament, a former country director for Counterpart International's Iraq programs, and an auditor at the Central Bank of Iraq. She is a long-term practitioner in the Middle East on issues of politics, governance, security, statebuilding, and fragile states. She finished her Ph.D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy/Tufts University; her dissertation about governance and decentralization in Iraq was awarded Fletcher’s Peter Ackerman Award for an outstanding scholarly work.

Education
Bachelor’s and Master’s in Linguistics, Baghdad University; Master’s and Ph.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy-Tufts University.

Languages
Kurdish, Arabic, English

Countries of Expertise
Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey

Issues of Expertise
Political economy analysis, governance, statebuilding, conflict sensitivity analysis, international development, complexity aware monitoring, fragile states, security studies, Iranian foreign policy in the Arab world (especially in Iraq), IRGC and Quds Force doctrine in Iraq, and the political transformation of Iraqi militias.  

Contact Information

Please contact MEI’s media relations manager, Rachel Dooley, at rdooley@mei.edu or 202-785-1141 ext. 241 for assistance contacting this expert.