Sarah Yerkes is a nonresident fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow. She is a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, where she focused on North Africa. Previously, she was a foreign affairs officer in the State’s Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs. Yerkes also served as a geopolitical research analyst for the U.S. military’s Joint Staff Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5) at the Pentagon, advising the Joint Staff leadership on foreign policy and national security issues.

Her research focuses on the relationship between the state and society in the Middle East. She is currently examining the trajectory of the secular, liberal revolutionaries of the Arab Spring. Yerkes has published and presented her research on political reform and civil society in the Middle East in a variety of academic and policy forums.

Yerkes was a Boren Graduate Fellow in Morocco in 2008 where she attended the Arabic Language Institute in Fez and conducted research on political reform and U.S. foreign policy toward Morocco. She also received numerous fellowships to carry out doctoral fieldwork in Egypt in 2010 and 2011, examining the relationship between civil society organizations and the authoritarian state, both during the Mubarak regime and shortly after the Egyptian revolution.

She has taught courses on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and government and politics of the Middle East at George Washington University. Yerkes received her doctorate in government from Georgetown University in 2012. Prior to enrolling at Georgetown, she was a research analyst in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy (now Center for Middle East Policy) at Brookings. She holds a master’s in Middle East studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s in international studies and Middle Eastern studies from Emory University.

Sarah Yerkes is a nonresident fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow. She is a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, where she focused on North Africa. Previously, she was a foreign affairs officer in the State’s Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs. Yerkes also served as a geopolitical research analyst for the U.S. military’s Joint Staff Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5) at the Pentagon, advising the Joint Staff leadership on foreign policy and national security issues.

Her research focuses on the relationship between the state and society in the Middle East. She is currently examining the trajectory of the secular, liberal revolutionaries of the Arab Spring. Yerkes has published and presented her research on political reform and civil society in the Middle East in a variety of academic and policy forums.

Yerkes was a Boren Graduate Fellow in Morocco in 2008 where she attended the Arabic Language Institute in Fez and conducted research on political reform and U.S. foreign policy toward Morocco. She also received numerous fellowships to carry out doctoral fieldwork in Egypt in 2010 and 2011, examining the relationship between civil society organizations and the authoritarian state, both during the Mubarak regime and shortly after the Egyptian revolution.

She has taught courses on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and government and politics of the Middle East at George Washington University. Yerkes received her doctorate in government from Georgetown University in 2012. Prior to enrolling at Georgetown, she was a research analyst in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy (now Center for Middle East Policy) at Brookings. She holds a master’s in Middle East studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s in international studies and Middle Eastern studies from Emory University.