Michelle Strucke is the director and senior fellow for the Humanitarian Agenda at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Throughout her career, she has focused on humanitarian affairs, human rights, and development issues at the intersection of conflict. Prior to joining CSIS, Michelle was appointed by the White House to serve as the first deputy assistant secretary of defense for global partnerships from 2022 to 2023. In this role, she led the development of Department of Defense (DOD) policy and strategy for a holistic range of policy tools for advancing U.S. national security partnerships, including humanitarian affairs and disaster response; the department’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic; global health engagement; human rights issues; women, peace, and security; and the multibillion-dollar security cooperation enterprise. In 2021, she served as principal director for stability and humanitarian affairs, where she oversaw, among other issues, civilian protection and peacekeeping and stability operations. In these roles, she played a pivotal role in initiating historic, systemic reform efforts to improve the DOD’s approaches to civilian harm mitigation and security cooperation. Prior to her government service, Michelle served for a decade in civil society in policy and programmatic leadership roles at Oxfam America, Islamic Relief USA, and the Syrian American Medical Society. Michelle was a Virginia gubernatorial appointee from 2016 to 2021, serving as vice chair of the Virginia Council on Women, where she led the council’s efforts to contribute to the elimination of racial disparities in maternal mortality in Virginia. An Arabic speaker, she holds a master’s degree in international human rights law from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ithaca College.