Five ways to reset US foreign policy amid the COVID-19 crisis
Diana Ohlbaum is Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. She directs FCNL’s foreign policy lobbying team and leads an effort to replace the current U.S. foreign policy paradigm of military domination and national superiority with a more ethical and effective one based on cooperation and mutual respect.
She brings to FCNL nearly two decades of experience on Capitol Hill, where she served as a senior professional staff member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and earlier as an aide to Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD). During her time as a congressional staff member, Diana coordinated efforts to overhaul the outdated Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, improve oversight of arms sales and security assistance, and promote diplomacy and multilateralism.
Immediately prior to joining FCNL in August 2018, Diana worked as an independent consultant specializing in advocacy, political strategy and legislative impact. Most of her clients were non-governmental organizations and foundations working in the areas of sustainable development and human security.
Diana also has experience in the executive branch and in the nonprofit sector. From 1999-2001 she served as deputy director of USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, a cutting-edge unit designed to advance peace and democracy in priority conflict-prone countries. She also worked as director of public policy for InterAction, an alliance of NGOs engaged in humanitarian relief and international development.
Diana currently chairs the board of the Center for International Policy and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and the Advisory Council of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Russian studies from Amherst College.