Mara E. Karlin, Adjunct Faculty

Mara E. Karlin is a Lecturer and PhD candidate in Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Previously, she served in a variety of policy positions in the U.S. Defense Department, including Levant Director and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. As Levant Director, she was intimately involved in formulating U.S. policy on Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel-Palestinian affairs. This involved building the Lebanese Armed Forces, coordinating nascent defense relations between the United States and Lebanon, deepening U.S.-Jordanian defense cooperation, and expanding security sector reform in the Palestinian arena. As Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, she helped coordinate the Under Secretary’s workload and facilitated his efforts on hundreds of national security-related actions. In connection with her work at the Pentagon, she received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award.  She is a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, an adjunct scholar at the RAND Corporation, and regularly lectures on Middle East and defense-related affairs.

Her work has been published in various outlets, including Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, and Foreign Policy Magazine. She received her M.A. with distinction in Middle East and Strategic Studies from Johns Hopkins University-SAIS and her BA summa cum laude from Tulane University.