Ashley Jackson is a researcher, consultant and writer focused on conflict mediation and understanding armed groups.
She is currently a Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute and a doctoral candidate in War Studies at King's College London. She has conducted dialogue with and researched 27 armed factions across 13 countries, including research with the Afghan Taliban, Al-Shabaab, various Syrian factions, Hamas and others. She is currently based in Afghanistan, conducting doctoral research on how the Taliban governs and provides basic services, such as healthcare and education, in the areas it controls. She has been widely quoted in the media, including Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera and the New York Times, and was named a Foreign Policy Interrupted Fellow.
Ashley has extensive experience on the ground in conflicts and complex emergencies. She served as a Political Affairs Officer with the UN and as Head of Policy for Oxfam in Afghanistan, where she successfully lobbied international forces to introduce tighter restrictions on the use of force and do more to protect civilians. Prior to that, she was a Red Cross delegate in Southeast Asia. She also provides high level policy advice and expertise, including as an advisor to the UK parliament on Afghanistan and to the UN on humanitarian access and peacebuilding.
Ashley holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and a MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics.