National Security Advisor, U.S. Department of State

Wardah works as a national security advisor at the U.S. Department of State and serves as co-chair of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security’s (WCAPS) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Policy Working Group. She is also a 2019-2020 National Nuclear Security Administration graduate fellow with the Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence, and was previously a project associate with the chemical security team at CRDF Global.

Wardah became interested in chemical nonproliferation and disarmament after performing an internship with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. She also interned with several think tanks, including Chatham House, Hudson Institute, and the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Wardah holds a BS in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University and an MA in security policy studies from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where she specialized in issues related to weapons of mass destruction.

I am most excited to work on projects that… serve as opportunities for teams to collaborate and contribute to change with creative and new ideas that can be converted into action.  

I am looking for partners who can help me… create a space where individuals feel safe sharing their point of view regardless of popular opinion. Where individuals feel heard and included in every discussion. Where we as a collective consciously choose to listen and learn from one another, while recognizing each of us will have a unique perspective to share that is backed by a unique set of professional and life experiences that cannot be duplicated, but appreciated for its unique value. 

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… when I attended my first Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS) event. It was the first time I had seen such a diverse panel of speakers at a think tank in Washington, DC. They left me feeling inspired by their incredible advice that opened doors to new opportunities.

Innovations in my field that I am most excited to work on… include coming up with solution sets to issues ranging from those that have been inherited and passed down generations with very little progress made to address them, to those that call for immediate action, like being more consciously committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive culture in security spaces and beyond.

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