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Juliette Kayyem

Juliette N. Kayyem serves as the executive director for research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  Since 2001, Kayyem has been a resident scholar at the Belfer Center, serving both as executive director of the Kennedy School’s Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness, a terrorism and homeland security research program, and as co-director of Harvard’s Long-Term Legal Strategy for Combating Terrorism. She also teaches courses on law and national security. 

Previously, she served as former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt's appointee to the National Commission on Terrorism, a congressionally-mandated review of how the government could better prepare for the growing terrorist threat. Chaired by L. Paul Bremer, that commission’s recommendations in 2000 urged the nation to recognize and adapt to the growing tide of terrorist activity against the United States.

Before that, she served as a legal adviser to then-Attorney General Janet Reno, where she worked on a variety of national security and terrorism cases. Kayyem began her legal career as a trial lawyer, litigating cases throughout the United States on behalf of the Justice Department.  She has also worked in death penalty appeals cases on behalf of Alabama death row inmates and, before going to law school, was a journalist in South Africa.

Kayyem writes frequently on counterterrorism, law, homeland security, civil liberties and the need to protect our democratic norms in times of war.  She is co-editor of First to Arrive: State and Local Response to Terrorism (MIT Press, 2003), as well as the author of numerous journal, magazine and newspaper articles. She testifies frequently before Congress and serves on the board of advisers to a number of governmental and private institutions. Kayyem is also a national security analyst for NBC News.

A 1991 graduate of Harvard College and a 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School, she lives in Cambridge with her husband, David Barron, a Harvard law professor, and their two children.




Intelligence reform isn't just about the chart
ASK THIS | August 11, 2004
Harvard counterterrorism expert Juliette Kayyem writes that when it comes to improving intelligence, the press should be asking less about bureaucratic shuffles and more about basic intelligence-gathering – and whether white guys make the best spies.

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