Jessie Evans is the Africa Program Lead for the Institute of Security Governance at the U.S. Department of Defense. She works closely with foreign security sector partners across Africa on institutional capacity building. Prior, Jessie served as a security sector reform advisor to the United States Mission to Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia, and Nairobi, Kenya. Her team managed over $115 million dollars in US- security assistance to Somali forces and other African partners serving in Somalia. She pushed for tougher conditionality and as a result, the US Ambassador paused and realigned millions of dollars of assistance to address issues of waste, corruption, and poor alignment to policy goals.

Previously, she served six years as a Conflict Specialist in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations supporting US embassies in Burma, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.  Before the State Department, Jessie worked at the Harvard School of Public Health on international health and human rights.  Jessie received her master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. While at Fletcher, Jessie was a Rosenthal Fellow in the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Office of African Affairs.  She received her BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and originally hails from Bend, OR.