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Susan Yoshihara

Founder and President, American Council on Women Peace and Security
Susan Yoshihara Headshot

Founder and President, American Council on Women Peace and Security


  • Women Peace and Security
  • International Relations
  • National Security Affairs

Professional Experience

Dr. Yoshihara is a senior advisor on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) to NORAD and USNORTHCOM. She was WPS Advisor to Defense Security Cooperation Agency and University from 2020-2023 where she led the team that integrated the requirements of the WPS Act of 2017 into education and training for the U.S. security cooperation workforce.

Dr. Yoshihara participated in UN negotiations on development, security, and human rights from 2006-2020 as part of civil society, serving on the Holy See delegation during the Commission on Population and Development, and advising the UN Security Council at its Open Debate on Children Affected by Armed Conflict.

She served twenty years as a U.S. Naval Aviator, leading helicopter combat logistics missions in the Gulf War and humanitarian assistance and search and rescue missions in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. She was on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College, and is on the board of directors of the White House Fellows Alumni Association and Foundation.

Dr. Yoshihara is the author of several peer-reviewed and law review articles; her books include Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts, and Population Decline and the Remaking of Great Power Politics. Her current book project on the American Way of Women Peace and Security examines how the United States is implementing WPS through security cooperation in an era of strategic competition.

She lives in Vienna, Virginia with her husband, Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, and their two daughters.


Dr. Yoshihara holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, M.A. in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School, and B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy.