Jennifer Cafarella

Guest Author

Jennifer Cafarella (@JennyCafarella) is the Chief of Staff and a National Security Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Her work focuses on U.S. defense strategy including how the United States must adapt to current and future threats. She also is a fellow at George Mason University’s National Security Institute, and an associate fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College in London.

Ms. Cafarella regularly briefs senior policy- and decision-makers as well as U.S. and allied military units. Her written work has been featured across major media outlets including Foreign Affairs Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. She frequently appears in the media and in public events to discuss the evolution of national security threats and their consequences for how the U.S. must engage.

Ms. Cafarella previously served as ISW’s Research Director from 2019-2020. She is a graduate of ISW’s Hertog War Studies Program and was the Institute’s first Evans Hanson Fellow, which sponsors outstanding alumni of the War Studies Program and seeks to help build the next generation of national security leaders. Ms. Cafarella received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Global Studies with a focus on the Middle East.

Ms. Cafarella is available on LinkedIn at

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