Bethany L. McGann is a program officer at the United States Institute of Peace, leading the Africa research portfolio with the RESOLVE Network, the research component of the Violent Extremism team within the Center for Applied Conflict Transformation. She joined USIP in 2014, supporting its work on governance, justice, and the rule of law before joining the RESOLVE Network team in 2016.
Bethany leads the design and implementation of multi-year USAID funded desk and field studies focused on; Sahelian sub-state hybrid armed actors, militias, and local security assemblages; the role of women in armed community mobilization in East and West Africa; and local peacebuilding mechanisms in violent extremism affected contexts.
Her publications include a chapter in the Good Governance Africa Extremisms in Africa anthology as well as contributing the Africa paper for the 2019 West Point Student Conference on U.S. Affairs. Her graduate research was cited in New America’s 2019 Annual Terrorism Assessment.
Bethany has field experience from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Bethany is a 2020 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She holds a master’s in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and a bachelor’s in Government and International Affairs from Smith College.