Heela Rasool-Ayub is the Director for the Planetary Politics initiative.
Prior to joining New America, Rasool-Ayub served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, promoting and managing democracy, human rights, and governance programs for over a decade.
During her tenure, Rasool-Ayub took on several roles including as Director for Global Engagement at the National Security Council where she advanced President Obama’s “Stand with Civil Society” initiative to protect and support civil society globally.
As the Director for the Office of Development Cooperation at USAID, Rasool-Ayub elevated the U.S. government's foreign policy agenda with other donors and in multilateral institutions, including through negotiating instruments in the G20 and other multilateral platforms.
Before her U.S. government service, Rasool-Ayub was an investigator with the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency investigating and pursuing sanctions related to allegations of fraud and corruption in World Bank Group-financed projects.
Driven by a commitment to promoting justice through institutions, Rasool-Ayub has worked in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Southern Africa region, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Ukraine. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis and a J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.