In this episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast, FMEP President Lara Friedman speaks with Middle East foreign policy/national security expert Jasmine El-Gamal about Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, US policy and national security, implications for international law and peace/security mor broadly, and prospects for regional escalation.
Recorded on January 9, 2024
Jasmine El-Gamal is a national security expert and former Middle East advisor at the Pentagon. She is the Founder and CEO of Mindwork Strategies, LTD, a consulting firm with a mission to help organisations craft empathy-based, culturally driven approaches to foreign policy, communications and workplace mental health. She has served throughout her 22-year career various public and private-sector organisations covering issues related to security and international affairs. From 2015-2020, Jasmine was a Senior Fellow with the Middle East program at the Atlantic Council, where she focused primarily on U.S. policies in the Middle East and the Syria conflict, and completed a Visiting Fellowship with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in 2019, focusing on the Syria refugee crisis and its impact on Europe and the Levant. From 2008-2013, Jasmine served as a Middle East advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy. During her tenure, she covered issues related to Iraq, Syria, the Arab Spring and ISIS, among others, and served as the Acting Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy. From 2013-2015, she was a Special Assistant to three consecutive Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy. In 2003, Jasmine volunteered to serve as a translator and cultural advisor in Southern Iraq, where she assisted reconstruction missions in support of the local population.
Born in New York and raised in Egypt, Jasmine’s experiences in the aftermath of 9/11 compelled her to spend her career advancing a less militarized, more humane U.S. approach to the Middle East, first as a U.S. public servant and then as a writer, analyst and media commentator.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Jasmine has emerged as a vocal and passionate advocate for improving mental health in the workplace, particularly in high-stress environments such as government, journalism, medicine, tech and the military, frequently writing and speaking on the topic in public fora and to private audiences. She is the creator and host of Mind/work show, an interview-centered podcast dedicated to exploring mental health in the workplace, one story at a time.
Her commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Time Magazine, CNN, Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, L’Orient du Jour, Sawt al Azhar, Al Masry Al Youm, Le Figaro, BBC, Sky News, LBC and other international outlets.