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 is a key member of WOLA’s Regional Security Policy team. He is a leading expert on defense, civil-military relations, and U.S. security assistance to the Americas. He collaborates on Just the Facts—a constantly updated source of information and analysis of the United States’ often troubled relationship with Latin America’s militaries. He helped found Just the Facts in the early 1990s.

Mr. 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 at the time. At the end of the decade, he published “Don’t Call It a Model,” a comprehensive look at the lessons to be learned from Plan Colombia.

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,” says a congressional staffer who closely follows Latin America policy.

He is known for his pithy commentary, shared online daily through regular contributions to Just the Facts and other blogs. Among Latin America analysts, he has been a leader in cutting-edge use of technology for transparency, instant analysis, and advocacy.

Mr. 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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