In September 2015, Ms. Cole joined the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) as special advisor on Countering Violent Extremism, Conflict and Fragility. Ms. Cole has served in leadership positions in and out of government for more than 30 years working on conflict and security issues. Prior to rejoining USIP, Ms. Cole was appointed by President Obama as the director of the Office of Civil-Military Cooperation at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) where she was responsible for managing the relationship between USAID and the Department of Defense.
Ms. Cole has led pioneering initiatives including the USIP-hosted Working Group on Civil-Military Relations in Non-Permissive Environments where she helped negotiate the landmark, “Guidelines for Relations Between U.S. Armed Forces and NGHOs in Hostile or Potentially Hostile Environments.” She was lead writer of the first “interagency” doctrine for stabilization operations, Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction. She has authored and co-authored numerous books and publications and speaks widely on issues related to conflict. Ms. Cole is currently an adjunct professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.