Melissa Salyk-Virk

Fellow, International Security Program

Melissa Salyk-Virk is a fellow with New America's International Security program and is a consultant with the Planetary Politics Initiative. Salyk-Virk completed her master of science in global affairs from New York University, concentrating in peacebuilding and transnational security. Most recently she was vice president for transnational projects at Trust Stamp | AiiD (Artificial Intelligence for IDentity) in Malta, focused on Africa and Europe-based initiatives. Previously, she worked with the International Security program as a senior policy analyst. Her research has focused on armed drone proliferation and the U.S. counterterrorism ground/air/drone strikes abroad, as well as their corresponding militant and civilian casualties; 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. She has presented her research at conferences hosted by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Society for Terrorism Research, and has been published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Defense One, and CNN, among others. She 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.