Hillary Mann Leverett is a Middle East analyst and former State Department and National Security Council official. She is currently the chief executive officer of STRATEGA, a political risk consulting firm. She worked for many years in the US government on a number of Middle East issues, including as Middle East expert for the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff; political adviser on the Middle East, Sudan, and Central Asia at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and in U.S. embassies in Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia; and Director for Iran, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council. As one of a small number of U.S. officials authorized to negotiate directly with senior Iranian officials she participated in a number of secret negotiations on Afghanistan, al-Qaeda and Iraq. She writes frequently on Middle Eastern, Russian and South Asian issues in publications such as the New York Times, The National Interest and The Wall Street Journal.