Dr. Jackson is a political scientist who has conducted empirical field research in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali. Dr. Jackson’s work has focused on ethno-sectarian violence, organizations involved in it, ideologies, social movements, insurgency, weak and failing states, civil wars and military operations in peacekeeping, stability operations, counterinsurgency, counter terrorism and building partner nation capacity to counter violent extremist organizations.
Dr.Jackson spent 2003-2006 living and conducting field research in Fallujah, Baghdad, Baquba, Baladrooz, and Erbil. During this period, she studied the values, authority structures, communication mechanisms, social movements, authority structures and militias of Arab and Kurdish, Sunni and Shia populations of these areas. She applied the findings to the development of training and education for DIA, the US Army and US Foreign Service Institute. Dr. Jackson studied under Dr. Fouad Ajami at Johns Hopkins SAIS, where she reviewed the literature on the Iraqi state, Arabs, Islam, Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs and Kurds. The result was a book length manuscript entitled Iraq’s Ethno-Sectarian Groups and the State: What We Know and How We Know It that describes what is known in academia about the culture, social structure, history, economy, authority structures and relationship to the Iraqi state of each of these social groups. Dr. Jackson holds a BA in Government and French Literature with a Concentration in International Relations from Cornell University; and an MA in International Relations with a Concentration in Russian and Eastern European Area Studies and International Economics; and a PhD in International Relations with a Concentration in Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.