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Zach Vertin



September 6, 2016 — June 30, 2017

Professional affiliation

Former U.S. Diplomat and Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group

Wilson Center Projects

“A Rope from the Sky: The Making and Unmaking of the World’s Newest State” [South Sudan]

Full Biography

Zach Vertin is an American writer and foreign policy analyst; he has spent the last decade working in international politics and peace and conflict issues, particularly in Africa. He is currently a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. He previously served as Director of Policy for the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, which spearheads American policymaking on behalf of the State Department and the White House. Prior to that, Vertin spent six years at the International Crisis Group, where he served as Senior Analyst for the Horn of Africa, and as Advisor on peace operations and multilateral affairs in the UN Security Council.

In these roles Vertin regularly engaged heads of state, foreign diplomats, mediators, senior Obama administration officials, and leading figures such as former President Jimmy Carter and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He researched, analyzed, and participated in formative events in recent Sudanese history, including: the separation of Sudan and South Sudan’s transition to independence, subsequent peace processes in Sudan and South Sudan, and negotiations between the American and Sudanese governments over their embattled bilateral relationship. Vertin has published policy reports, authored op-eds, and contributed expert commentary to television, radio, print, and online media, including for: The New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Le Monde, Reuters, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, Foreign, and The Huffington Post.

Vertin earned a master’s degree in international affairs at Princeton University, and graduated with honors (philosophy) from Saint John’s University. He also studied at the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a native of Minnesota.