Adam Isacson

Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy
Areas of Expertise: 
Regional and Military Security Policy, Arms Transfers, Civil-Military Relations, Colombia, International Drug Policy, Mexico, Peace Processes, U.S. Assistance

Adam Isacson works on defense and security policy at WOLA. He has twenty years of experience working on conflict resolution, civil-military relations, and U.S. security assistance to the Americas. He collaborates on the Security Assistance Monitor—a regularly updated source of information and analysis of the United States’ often troubled relationship with Latin America’s militaries. He helped found this joint program, originally called “Just the Facts,” in the early 1990s.

Isacson has co-authored dozens of publications, including “Ready, Aim, Foreign Policy” and “Waiting for Change,” which examine the increasing role of the military in U.S. foreign policy. During the 2000s, Mr. Isacson focused on Colombia, the principal destination of U.S. aid to Latin America, and has traveled there about seventy times. He remains closely engaged with the country’s peace process and post-conflict challenges. He also contributes to WOLA’s U.S.-Mexico border security and migration program.

He has testified before Congress on international drug policy, Colombia’s conflict, U.S. military aid programs and human rights, and has organized several congressional delegations to the region. He is “among the few in Washington who genuinely affect how policy-makers in Congress and the administration shape their decisions and policy proposals,” according to a congressional staffer who closely follows Latin America policy.

Isacson is known for commentary shared online daily through regular contributions to Security Assistance Monitor, WOLA’s, WOLA’s Border Fact Check, and other blogs. Among Latin America analysts, he has been a leader in cutting-edge use of technology for transparency, instant analysis, and advocacy.

Isacson joined WOLA in 2010 after fourteen years working on Latin American and Caribbean security issues with the Center for International Policy (CIP). Before WOLA and CIP, he worked for the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in San José, Costa Rica as a program assistant for demilitarization.

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  • M.A. Yale University, International Relations
  • B.A. Hampshire College, Social Science
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