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CIP Announces Salih Booker as New Executive Director



CIP Announces New Executive Director

Salih Booker to Lead CIP Starting September 1, 2017


(Washington) – The Center for International Policy (CIP) has chosen Salih Booker as its new executive director to succeed William Goodfellow beginning September 1, 2017.  

Booker will lead the 42-year-old non-profit organization as it moves to strengthen its research and analysis of U.S. foreign and military policies while becoming an incubator and accelerator of key advocacy efforts to promote U.S. policies that seek non-violent and cooperative solutions to the world’s top strategic challenges. He will oversee CIP’s existing programs and operations, direct its financial and or

ganizational development and lead its participation in policy-change coalitions.

Booker’s long experience gives him wide-ranging expertise in U.S. foreign policy, especially on issues related to Africa, development, global governance and international human rights. He also has strong credentials in philanthropy, strategic planning and communications, and is a long-term participant in the broad peace and justice movement in the United States. In addition to his U.S.-based posts, Booker has spent more than a third of his career abroad in Africa, Europe and Latin America.

“Salih Booker brings to CIP, at an opportune moment, tremendous leadership, communications and management experience along with a passion for peace and justice and an innovative eye and a creative, positive spirit,” said co-founder and out-going executive director, William Goodfellow.

Most recently, Booker served as the vice president of external relations at the United States Institute of Peace, and before that as an advisor to the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the prior decade, Booker directed the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions in Geneva, Switzerland, and was executive director at Global Rights and Africa Action, both in Washington, D.C.

 Booker’s expertise in Africa dates to early in his career when he was an activist at TransAfrica (the African-American lobby for Africa and the Caribbean) followed by experience as a professional staff member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa (1983-86; and 1990).  Between stints on Capitol Hill, he served as a Ford Foundation program officer for Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi (1986–88). He later became a senior fellow and director of the Africa Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (1995-2000).

“My experiences from street-level activism to Capitol Hill to the practice of international philanthropy as well as leadership roles at foreign policy think-tanks, NGOs and international institutions will help me to lead CIP as we build upon its historical strengths to create a new platform for progressive foreign policy work, and to act as an incubator of ideas and projects to help re-build the peace movement of the 21st century,” said Booker.

Booker has commented frequently in the media on CNN, NPR, PBS NewsHour and BBC. He has written op-ed articles for the New York Times, International Herald Tribune and Le Monde, among other publications.

CIP board chair, John O. Niles, said that the Center’s work to preserve the signal foreign policy gains of recent years, including the Paris climate accord, the Iranian nuclear agreement and the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba, will need to be elevated even as CIP builds new programs. “Salih Booker will lead our efforts to promote diplomacy and cooperative solutions to global challenges, cost-effectively reducing the number of foreign military bases, ending counterproductive military interventions abroad and investing more resources to address domestic and global inequality.”

CIP is one of America’s foremost progressive foreign policy institutions, established in 1975 by anti-war activists who wanted to make sure the lessons of the Vietnam War were not forgotten.    

CIP’s board worked with Koya Leadership Partners, a national executive search firm that specializes in leading searches exclusively for mission-driven clients.


For more information, contact
Kate Leary
Development Manager


CIP promotes transparency and accountability in U.S. foreign policy and global relations by advocating policies that advance international cooperation, demilitarization, respect for human rights and action to alleviate climate change and reduce global inequality. CIP’s work provides policy recommendations and analysis to decision makers in government, international organizations, the private sector and civil society. CIP’s mix of former senior government officials, journalists, academics and activists brings insider’s access, scholarly rigor and media savvy as well as the passion and organizing skills of seasoned activists. 

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