Nazanin Ash is a visiting policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. She works on issues related to governance, political and economic reform, and the Middle East. Most recently, Ash served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the US Department of State, leading the US government’s Middle East Partnership Initiative and working to advance political and economic reform in the Middle East. Prior to this role, she served as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff from June 2007 to April 2012, designing policy initiatives to strengthen US government aid effectiveness and approaches to political and economic development. Ash also served as principal advisor and chief of staff to the first director of US foreign assistance and administrator of the US Agency for International Development, developing and supervising the implementation of key strategies for US foreign assistance reform and policies for allocating US foreign assistance. Before joining the US Department of State, Ash worked for ActionAid–Kenya, one of the largest rights-based NGOs in Kenya and a leading advocacy and local capacity-building institution. She holds an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a BA in political science from Bryn Mawr College.