Janette Yarwood is Director for Africa and The Middle East in the Office of International Affairs. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Prior to joining Yale, Dr. Yarwood was based in Washington D.C. and held several roles working on U.S. policy toward Africa. Most recently, she was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of African Affairs at the Department of State where she worked on strategic initiatives and U.S. policy priorities toward the region. Previously, she was Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations where she led a comprehensive foreign policy agenda, planned congressional hearings and delegations to conduct oversight, was key interlocutor with the White House, State Department, international diplomats, and academic institutions. Dr. Yarwood was also Chair of Sub-Saharan Africa Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute with the Department of State responsible for developing the curriculum and training U.S. diplomats and other U.S. government personnel preparing for an overseas assignment across Africa or covering Africa from the United States. She taught graduate courses at the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University and serves as an expert on the United States Institute for Peace working group on the Sahel Senior Study Group.
Dr. Yarwood is a Fulbright scholar and her areas of focus include democratization and governance, human rights, youth-led movements, and the intersection between arts and activism.