Elly Rostoum

Scholar | Storyteller

Meet Elly!

       Thanks for stopping by! My name is Elly Rostoum. I am a political scientist and public policy practitioner, with more than a decade of experience in both the private and governmental sectors. I have advised policymakers and decision-makers at the White House, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and at the United Nations. I am currently an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where I teach Critical Security Studies. I am also the Managing Editor for Governance and Transnational Movements of the Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. I most recently served as a National Security Council Staffer at the White House, covering the Middle East portfolio. I specialize in public diplomacy, foreign policy and national security issues. I particularly enjoy working on issues of dignity, fragility, and resilience in at-risk and/or post-conflict contexts.

       In my academic life, my research focuses on political economy issues, with a focus on investment linkages between the US, China, and the Middle East. Methodologically, I specialize in scenario planning, forecasting, commodity modeling, and econometric analysis. My academic research portfolio has also included projects involving field interviews and survey design and analysis. My teaching interests include theories of international relations and public policy administration. I have been privileged to serve, alongside 11 distinguished MIT faculty, on the MIT Climate Change Conversation committee, which outlined policy recommendations detailing how MIT can tackle challenges posed by climate change and improvements in campus sustainability. I am fluent in Arabic and French, and proficient in German and Spanish. I have visited more than a couple of dozen countries, and have lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including doing academic field work in Austria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

       I began my career in the private sector, where I forecasted oil prices and consulted with C-suite executives in the energy sector worldwide. My work interests lie at the intersection of energy, geopolitics, and policy, including above-ground risk management, global investment trends analysis, energy R&D spending, and the electrification of the global drivetrain. My research has been prolifically published and featured in industry and policymaking circles, including with IHS CERA, the Harvard Kennedy School Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Middle East Economic Survey, and the Foreign Policy Association.

       I was previously a White House Intern with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, where I worked on issues ranging from cybersecurity, climate change as a national security issue, precision medicine, to diversity inclusion in STEM fields. I have also worked with the office of the Chief Technology Officer at the White House on a joint White House-Silicon Valley AI initiative, and completed a graduate fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy. 

        Academically, I am completing my PhD in Global Governance and Human Security. I hold a Master’s degree in liberal arts in Government from Harvard University, a Master’s in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts, a Certificate in Decision Analysis & Risk Management from Stanford University, a Certificate in Energy Modeling from the International Energy Agency, and a Bachelor's degree in political science and economics from Bates College.

       A New Englander at heart, I enjoy reading, hiking, and sailing. I love volunteering with children, and I am a strong supporter of the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation, The Posse Foundation and Smile Train. On most days, however, I just fantasize about being able to play the Oud.


"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that not all the people in this world have had the advantages that you have had."

F. Scott Fitzgerald                

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