Senior Strategist and Legislative Director of Foreign Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Diana Ohlbaum is president of DLO Global LLC, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Project on Prosperity and Development, and a principal of Turner4D strategic communications firm. With over 25 years of experience overseeing U.S. foreign assistance programs, primarily on Capitol Hill, she also serves as a member of the executive committee of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and as an expert contributor to TheHill.com.
From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Ohlbaum worked as a senior professional staff member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the leadership of Howard L. Berman (D-CA). In that position, she coordinated the effort to rewrite and reform the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, culminating in the introduction of the Global Partnerships Act of 2012. Previously, she directed the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, where she led a successful battle against elimination of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), drafted legislation to streamline the foreign aid system, championed expansion of human rights laws, and rewrote statutory guidelines for monitoring and approval of arms transfers.
In addition to her legislative background, Dr. Ohlbaum has experience in the executive branch and the private sector. From 1999 to 2001, she served as deputy director of USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, a unit designed to advance peace and democracy in conflict-prone countries. She later worked as director of public policy for InterAction, an alliance of nongovernmental organizations engaged in humanitarian relief and international development, and she ran a successful consulting business with corporate, nonprofit, and government clients. Dr. Ohlbaum holds a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Russian studies from Amherst College.