J. Scott Carpenter is Keston Family fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and director of its Project Fikra, which focuses on empowering Arab moderates and liberals in their struggles against extremism.Previously, Mr. Carpenter served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2004 to 2007. In 2006, he was was also named coordinator for the State Department’s Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives. Prior to that, he served in Baghdad as director of the governance group for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). There, he helped guide the political transition and initiated a wide array of democracy initiatives. From May 2003 to July 2004, he served as a key advisor to CPA administrator L. Paul Bremer, facilitating the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council and the first post-Saddam Hussein cabinet, the drafting and signing of Iraq’s interim constitution, and the establishment of the interim government. Mr. Carpenter presided over the design and implementation of the largest democratization effort in one country since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Before serving in Iraq, Mr. Carpenter was deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In that capacity, he was the bureau’s point person on a number of countries of critical importance to U.S. democracy promotion and human rights policy. He oversaw the bureau’s activities related to the Middle East, China, and Southeast Asia and was a representative to the Colombia policy coordinating committee. He also served as Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky’s representative on the interagency executive steering group on Iraq and cochaired the democracy policy coordinating committee with the Democracy, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Directorate at the National Security Council.
Before joining the State Department, Mr. Carpenter worked with the International Republican Institute (IRI), a nonprofit organization based in Washington that promotes democratic development worldwide. During his seven years at IRI, he established and served as codirector of IRI’s Central and Eastern Europe regional office in Bratislava, Slovakia, overseeing programming in ten countries from the Baltics to the Balkans, including Turkey.
Mr. Carpenter also worked on the North American Free Trade Area desk at the International Trade Agency. On Capitol Hill, he worked as a press secretary for Congressman Duncan Hunter of California and as a legislative assistant to Congressman Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Carpenter holds as M.S. in economics and European studies from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. from Hope College.