Asha Castleberry is a distinguished National Security & Foreign Policy expert, a public speaker, television media commentator, a United States Army Veteran, and a former U.S. Congressional Candidate. On January 21, 2021, Asha joined the Biden-Harris Administration as a Senior Official at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State.
Asha holds a B.A. in Political Science at Hampton University. At Hampton University, Asha was an active member of the Hampton University Marching Band. In 2005, she studied Law and Business in Shanghai, China, and at the University of Oxford New College. She wrote her thesis on the effects of Deng Xiaoping’s Economic Reform. In China, she met a lifetime colleague, Dr. Boyce Watkins, founder of the Black Business School. Asha was part of the Army Reserve Officer Training Officer (ROTC) and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 2006. In 2007, she continued her studies for a year at New York University Center for Global Affairs. In 2012, Asha earned a Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
During the Obama Administration, she worked with the State Department in the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Asha volunteered to serve as an election observer for the 2009 Presidential Election in El Salvador, and she served as part of USSOUTHCOM's peacekeeping operations in Nicaragua. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.
In 2010, she received nomination approval from former DNC Chair, Senator Tim Klain to join the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Veterans and Military Families Council. She initially served as the Tri-State Representative and later was promoted to the Vice-Chair of Communications.
In December 2012, Asha deployed to the Middle East Region to work with U.S. Army Central and completed this tour in 30-months. Also, from December 2012 to June 2014, Asha served as the Kuwait Desk Officer for International Military Affairs, U.S. Army Central. Since the 2014 ISIL incursion in Iraq, she served as part of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Kuwait. Currently, she is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Asha received a proclamation for her work from Majority Leader of New York State Senate, Andrea Stewart Cousins, and Assembly Member, Thomas J. Albinati. In 2013, former New York State Comptroller, Thomas Dihapoli recognized her for military service and earned a proclamation from the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
Asha is a former Full-time Lecturer or Adjunct Faculty Professor at Fordham University, where she has taught U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security. Asha also taught courses at George Washington University and Baruch College.
In 2016, Asha was part of the Hillary for America Middle East Policy Team. She appeared on stage with the Council leadership including General Allen at the 2016 DNC Convention in Philadelphia and a guest speaker at the 2019 DNC Women’s Forum interviewing five congressional members on National Security.
In 2019, she was recognized as one of the top National Security Experts in the New Foundation America and Diversity in National Security Network African American List. She is a New Leaders Council Fellow and was chosen as a Diplomatic Courier "Top 99 Under 33" Foreign Policy Leader, and a 2015 Root100 "Top African American Rising Leader". Asha also served as the Chief of Staff for the Biden for President Presidential Campaign. She later stepped down to run for a Congressional seat in New York District 17. She received many endorsements from local officials and former Ambassadors and General Officers.
She was featured in many media outlets including Interviews CNN, Fox and Friends Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News with Neil Cavuto, CBS News, MSNBC, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Forbes.com, Sirius XM, CSPAN, The Hill, Uptown Magazine, WNYC, and Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Show, The Washington Times, Elle Magazine, The Hill, The Independent, I24 News, Sky News, TRT World, Newsweek, and Cheddar News.
In the Foreign Policy realm, Asha was recognized as a Foreign Policy influencer in Women in Foreign Policy Group’s 2019 African American Women Trailblazers in Foreign Policy along with other prominent leaders, Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, and Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins.
Asha is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She is also an International Strategy fellow at Schmidt Futures and earned a fellowship with Robert J. Fund Fellowship at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. She is a 2017 Fellow for Foreign Policy Interrupted and a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Asha serves on the Board of Advisors of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS). Previously, She served with America’s Impact, as well as Women Veterans and Families Network. She is a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council, a global fellow at the Project on the Study on the 21st Century (PS21), an Adjunct Fellow at the American Security Project, and a co-founder of a non-governmental organization - International Youth Council. She's been awarded the 2016 Aspen Institute Ideas Scholarship, and she is also a scholarship recipient for the Socrates Program.
She is a recognized public speaker. She is featured as a Great Black Speaker, a Fresh Speaker, and a Women’s Media Center. She was a guest speaker at many universities, organizations, and forums.
She is fluent in Spanish and understands elementary-level Mandarin and Arabic.
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