Since 2005, Johanna Mendelson-Forman has been a senior associate of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She currently serves as a senior advisor of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Until June 2006, Mendelson was the director of Peace, Security, and Human Rights at the UN Foundation. Prior to joining the UN Foundation, she was co-director of a high-level bi-partisan commission on post-conflict reconstruction of the Association of the U.S. Army and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She also served as senior fellow at the Association of the U.S. Army’s program on the role of American military power in the 21st Century. For the last eight years she has held senior positions at USAID, most recently as senior policy advisor for the Bureau for Humanitarian Response, managing the policy on post-conflict reconstruction, security sector reform, and governance. From 1998-1999 she served as senior social scientist and attorney at the World Bank’s Post Conflict Unit, on assignment from USAID. In 1994 she was appointed as a senior advisor to the Office of Transition Initiatives. In 1997 she helped found the Conflict Prevention Network, a coalition of donor nations and the UN working together to coordinate and support the reconstruction of war-torn societies.
Mendelson’s work focuses on energy security and post-conflict development issues, emphasizing Latin America. She has written extensively about civil-military and security sector issues, arms proliferation, internal security, and peacekeeping. In 2003 she participated in a review of the post-conflict reconstruction effort of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as part of a team headed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The report she co-authored served as the baseline study for reconstruction in Iraq.
Mendelson also holds a faculty appointment at The American University's School of International Service in Washington, D.C. and at Georgetown University’s Center for National Security Studies. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Advisory Board of Women in International Security. She co-chairs the Security Advisory Committee of The White House Project. She holds a JD from Washington College of Law at The American University, a PhD in Latin American history from Washington University, and a Masters of International Affairs, with a certificate in Latin America studies, from Columbia University. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.