Joel Starr is a senior advisor for the Middle East and North Africa Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prior to joining USIP, Starr served as the deputy assistant secretary of state for regional security in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, where his division contributed the defense component to the 2020 Abraham Accords.
Other previous public service positions include time as counsel for foreign and military affairs to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK); deputy assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs; acting deputy assistant administrator for legislative and public affairs at USAID; counsel and foreign affairs legislative assistant to Congressman Tom Campbell (R-CA); as well as attorney and advisor to former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp.
In 2018, Starr retired after 20 years of service as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he specialized in international and operational law.
Starr is a graduate of Westminster College, the University of Oklahoma and Harvard University.