Melissa Salyk-Virk

Senior Policy Analyst, International Security Program

Melissa Salyk-Virk is a senior policy analyst for New America’s International Security program. Her research focuses on armed drone proliferation and the U.S. counterterrorism ground/air/drone strikes abroad, as well as the corresponding militant and civilian casualties. She has also researched monitoring and evaluation techniques for countering terrorist narratives, preventing violent extremism (PVE) and peacebuilding in South Asia and the Middle East, as well as the countering violent extremism (CVE) pilot program in the United States, specifically in Minnesota. Her research has been presented at conferences by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Society for Terrorism Research, and has been published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism and CNN, among others. She has also interviewed former violent extremists for New America public events.

Previously, Salyk-Virk worked with the United Nation’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) as a communications consultant for the analysis of terrorist narratives, and supported the Soufan Center as a researcher. Prior to this, Salyk-Virk worked with international organizations in fundraising, business development, and training capacities, and has worked extensively in Jordan, the Caribbean, and India. Salyk-Virk completed her master of science in global affairs from New York University, concentrating in peacebuilding and transnational security, and her bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Richmond.