Senior Fellow and Director of Research
Dr. David Adesnik is a senior fellow and the director of research at FDD, where he is responsible for the oversight of FDD publications and the supervision of FDD’s team of research analysts. His own research focuses on Syria and Iran, especially their illicit oil trade and Iran’s use of proxy forces to project influence across the region. Previously, David served as policy director at the Foreign Policy Initiative and was a visiting fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. For two years, he served as deputy director for Joint Data Support at the U.S. Department of Defense, where he focused on the modeling and simulation of irregular warfare and counterinsurgency. He also spent several years as a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. In that capacity, he spent four months in Baghdad as an operations research and systems analyst for Multinational Corps – Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2008, he was part of the foreign policy and national security staff for John McCain’s presidential campaign.
David has been the recipient of fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia. His work has been published in Foreign Policy, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Washington Quarterly, Forbes, and Fox News. He has served as a commentator on several cable television networks and radio programs. David holds a PhD and an MA in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His dissertation focused on the Reagan administration’s approach to democracy promotion. He received his BA in History from Yale University, from which he graduated summa cum laude.