(Washington, D.C., February 5, 2024) — Former State Department official Josh Paul, who resigned in October in protest of U.S. arms transfers to Israel, has joined DAWN as a new Non-Resident Fellow, DAWN announced in a statement issued today.
Paul will expand DAWN's expertise on U.S.-Israel policy and, in particular, the issue of weapons transfers and arms sales to Israel and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, given his 11 years spent at the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
"We are delighted that Josh is joining DAWN and believe he will bring unmatched expertise and insight about the inner workings of the State Department that have resulted in such catastrophic policy approaches to the Middle East," said DAWN's Executive Director, Sarah Leah Whitson. "We look forward to working with him in our mission to reform U.S. policy to better align with our interests and values by ending support for abusive regimes in the region."
Josh Paul spent more than 11 years working as a Director in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, which is responsible for U.S. defense diplomacy, security assistance, and arms transfers. He previously worked on security sector reform in both Iraq and the West Bank, with additional roles in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Army Staff, and as a Congressional staffer for Representative Steve Israel (D-NY). Paul grew up between London and New York, and holds master's degrees from Georgetown University and the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
"I look forward to working with DAWN to advance justice and change in U.S. foreign policy in the region," Paul said. "We are in desperate need of reform in America's approach to the Middle East, where our lack of vision compounded by a disregard for our own values has driven us to support some of the most abusive regimes in the region. That has contributed to conflict while directly enhancing threats to our own national security and undermining our global credibility in an era of strategic competition."
Paul resigned from the State Department in October 2023 in protest of the Biden administration's continued military support for Israel despite widely documented war crimes and crimes against humanity during its ongoing military campaign in Gaza, which the International Court of Justice recently determined was plausibly a genocide. In his resignation letter from the State Department on Oct. 18, Paul wrote: "I cannot work in support of a set of major policy decisions, including rushing more arms to one side of the conflict, that I believe to be shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse."
"We cannot be both against occupation, and for it. We cannot be both for freedom, and against it. And we cannot be for a better world, while contributing to one that is materially worse," Paul added in his resignation letter.
Paul joins a group of 16 other Non-Resident Fellows at DAWN whose expertise complements and advances the organization's mission, research, and advocacy to promote democracy and reform U.S. policy in the MENA region. Like all of DAWN's fellows, he will contribute to DAWN's online journal, Democracy in Exile, and offer insight, analysis, and policy recommendations on behalf of DAWN.
Josh Paul is available for interviews with the media, along with DAWN's other Non-Resident Fellows. For inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAWN, founded in 2018 by Jamal Khashoggi, is a nonprofit organization that promotes democracy, the rule of law, and human rights for all the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa and advocates for U.S. policies that align with these goals.