Julia McQuaid is a Principal Research Scientist in the Center for Stability & Development at the CNA Corporation. She also directs the Program on Transnational Challenges. Her work focuses on international security and U.S. interests in the Middle East and Africa. She has spent the last decade supporting the U.S. government decision-makers and military officers develop policy and strategy on a wide range of strategic and operational issues, including military engagement with partner nations, counter terrorism, maritime security threats, and devising appropriate methods for assessing and evaluating US efforts to achieve stated objectives. Much of her work supports U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command and includes analyses that identify and evaluate threats to regional partners and the U.S. in those areas of responsibility. She recently completed a year-long research project assessing the U.S. approach to countering al-Qaeda since 2001. She has also led an extensive analysis of the tactics of the Islamic State for the U.S. Marine Corps and supported the U.S. military in its U.S. efforts to address the Boko Haram conflict in northeastern Nigeria. She also focuses on non-traditional, emerging national security issues, including the impacts of global water stress on stability and conflict. Julia previously worked at the Middle East Institute and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. She has a BA in French and Government from Franklin & Marshall College and an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.