Rebecca Turkington

PhD Candidate

I am a Gates Cambridge Scholar and PhD candidate at Clare Hall College studying transnational women’s organizing in the mid-20th century. My dissertation research focuses on inter-communal women’s groups in colonial Tunisia, and their relationships with global left feminist networks.

Prior to Cambridge, I was Assistant Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, a founding staff member of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security where I led the gender and countering violent extremism portfolio and co-authored flagship reports on women’s participation in peace processes and transitional justice, and previously worked on women’s political participation at the National Democratic Institute. I have a MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University, concentrating in terrorism and substate violence, and a BA in International Relations and History from Wellesley College where I was a Madeleine K. Albright fellow. I was a 2019 Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, a 2020 fellow of the Schmidt Futures International Strategy Forum, and a member of the 2022 cohort of Foreign Policy for America's NextGen Initiative. My writing on gender, security, and foreign policy has been published in Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, The West Point Sentinel, War on the Rocks, Defense One, OpenDemocracy, Ms. Magazine, by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Oxford Analytica, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and I sit on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.

the opportunities and limits of global feminist solidarity; women’s roles in political violence; gender in statecraft and security policy; museums and public history

Women, Gender, and Terrorism: New Directions in Research and Policy, Cambridge Intelligence History Seminar. Cambridge, UK [virtual], May 2021.

Is Your Foreign Policy Feminist? SAIS Global Women in Leadership Conference. Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Washington, DC [virtual], April 2021.


Tags & Themes

Key publications

“After a Century of Lobbying, Women Are Finally Getting Top Jobs in Washington,” Foreign Policy, January 20, 2021.

“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: How Equality Became a U.S. Foreign Policy Priority,” with Amb. Melanne Verveer. Ms. Magazine, December 10, 2020.

Nadya Hajj, Patrick McEwan, and Rebecca Turkington, “Women, Information Ecology and Political Protest in the Middle East,” Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 24, no. 1. 2019: 62-83.

Audrey Alexander and Rebecca Turkington, “Treatment of Terrorists: How Does Gender Affect Justice?” West Point Combating Terrorism Center Sentinel, Vol. 11, no, 8. 2018: 24-29.