Rachel Thomas

2021 Next Gen National Security Fellow

U.S. Department of State

Rachel is the lead military and policy advisor on Women, Peace, and Security for the Department of State’s Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI). Her focus is on gender integration in civilian-military affairs, liaising between the Department of Defense (DoD), State, and other partner militaries to institutionalize and deepen understandings and lenses around gender, diversity, and intersectionality as they are applied to practice, programs, and engagements. An active duty Foreign Area Officer specializing in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Rachel supports maritime international engagements with partner militaries, providing operational experience and cultural knowledge of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, and conducting training and facilitation on gender integration within military operations.

Outside of State, Rachel is the co-founder of Cultivating Common Convergence, a sub-working group within Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) focused on bridging the gap between civil society and defense personnel to amplify diverse perspectives and promote a mindset shift in national security.

Rachel is an Atlantic Council LGBTI Fellow and one of Out in National Securities National Security & Foreign Policy LGBTQIA+ Out Leaders for 2020. She holds a M.A. in International Relations from Salve Regina University and a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

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