Shahla Al-Kli is a non-resident scholar at MEI. She is a principal development specialist at DAI Global, based in Bethesda, MD. She directs political economy analysis and complex aware monitoring at the USAID-funded Iraq Governance Performance and Accountability Project (IGPA/Takamul). Al-Kli 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. A long-term practitioner in Iraq on issues of politics, governance, security, statebuilding, and fragile states, she is the author of several articles, and her Ph.D. dissertation, “Decentralization and State-building in Iraq,” was awarded Fletcher’s Peter Ackerman Award for an outstanding scholarly work.

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

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 or 202-785-1141 ext. 241 for assistance contacting this expert.