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Janette Yarwood ’96

Janette Yarwood ’96 (anthropology) recently joined Yale University’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) as the Director for Africa and the Middle East.

Prior to joining Yale, Yarwood served in the Biden administration as senior advisor in the Africa Bureau at the Department of State, reporting to the assistant secretary for African affairs. The Bureau of African Affairs oversees the overall direction, coordination, and supervision of US policy toward the 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the African Union. Yarwood was responsible for mid- to long-term policy and strategic priorities.

Read more about Yarwood’s journey in a recent magazine feature.

Before that, she was Staff Director for the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Human Rights, and International organizations, where she managed subcommittee activities, drafted legislation, and conducted oversight missions. She was also responsible for the foreign policy agenda for the Ranking Member.

Earlier in her career, Yarwood was Chair of Sub-Saharan Africa Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute at the State Department.

Yarwood went on to earn her PhD in cultural anthropology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York and is also a Fulbright Scholar.

She was a member of the EOP/MAP program while at Purchase.

In 2019, she was recognized for contributions to US national security and foreign policy by The Diversity in National Security Network and New America who presented a list of honorees hailed for excellence and thought leadership on national security and foreign policy.