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Michelle Strucke

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Partnerships


Michelle Strucke was the DASD for Global Partnerships in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In that capacity she has policy responsibility for security cooperation; humanitarian assistance and disaster response, including COVID-19 global response; and international humanitarian law, rule of law and protection of human rights.

Ms. Strucke is an expert on human rights, humanitarian affairs, and development issues in intersection with conflict. She comes to the role with policy, national security, and practitioner experience from her career in government, and non-profit sectors.

From 2014-2021, Ms. Strucke worked for Oxfam America, a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty in more than 90 countries, as a Policy Advisor from 2014-2016, Local Humanitarian Leadership Manager from 2016-2018, and Senior Policy Manager for Aid and Development Finance from 2018-2021. In that capacity, she led Oxfam’s efforts advancing policy and programmatic reforms in US and European development and humanitarian assistance impacting countries in the Middle East, Central America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Prior to Oxfam, Ms. Strucke led public affairs for Islamic Relief USA, where she served as public affairs manager and lead United Nations representative, responsible for building the organization’s relationships and leading advocacy with the US government and multilateral institutions. From 2011-2012, she worked for the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) as their first Director of Grants and Policy Advocacy, advocating alongside members of the Syrian diaspora for the protection of medical professionals in Syria, and leading humanitarian, USAID-funded programs in Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

From 2010-2011, Ms. Strucke served as an Arabic media analyst at US Central Command.

Ms. Strucke served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Virginia Council on Women from 2016 to 2021, where she served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Healthcare Subcommittee. Her signature initiative was advancing Virginia’s goal of ending racial disparities in maternal mortality by 2025. She is a 2017 Fellow with the Truman National Security Project.

EDUCATION:  Ms. Strucke holds a Master of Arts degree in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Ithaca College. She was a State Department Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar for study abroad in Egypt from 2005-2006. She also studied vocal performance at Ithaca College and theatre at New York University.