Melissa Dalton is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Ms. Dalton’s research focus areas include U.S. strategy in an evolving Middle East region, U.S. policy vis-à-vis Iran, U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and broader U.S. defense policy issues.
Ms. Dalton is a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). She has served in several positions in OSD-Policy, including as the Lebanon and Syria Country Director from 2007-2010, as a policy advisor to the Commander, International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010, and most recently, as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2010-2011. Prior to her work in OSD-Policy, Ms. Dalton was a Middle East analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2003-2005. She studied Arabic and taught English in Damascus, Syria in 2006.
Ms. Dalton holds a M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where she completed her master’s thesis on Iranian influence in the Levant region. She earned a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.