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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is an American counter-terrorism scholar and analyst.[2] In 2014 he became the CEO of Valens Global, a private company that consults on counter-terrorism, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL, other insurgent groups and violent nonstate actors.[3] In addition to his role at Valens Global, Mr. Gartenstein-Ross is the Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank.[4] He frequently consults on counter-terrorism for various government agencies as well as the private sector. In 2011, Gartenstein-Ross wrote Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing the War on Terror published by John Wiley & Sons.[5]

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Born1976 (age 42–43)
Ashland, Oregon, United States
ResidenceWashington D.C.
Other namesn/a


Background and educationEdit

Born to non-practicing Jewish parents who followed a medley of religious teachings, he grew up in Ashland, Oregon. Gartenstein-Ross received his B.A. from Wake Forest University, where he was a Nancy S. Reynolds Scholar and won the 1997 national championship in intercollegiate policy debate. He went on to earn a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. Gartenstein-Ross was selected for the Claremont Institute's Lincoln Fellowship in 2007.[6]


After law school Gartenstein-Ross worked as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, and was subsequently employed in a New York City law firm. Following his work as a litigator, Gartenstein-Ross served at Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism and started his own counter-terrorism consulting business. In 2007 he began working as vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In 2010, he became a Senior Fellow there.[7]

Gartenstein-Ross has published four monographs and co-edited the books From Energy Crisis to Energy Security[8] and The Afghanistan-Pakistan Theater: Militant Islam, Security and Stability.[9] His writings on the war on terror have been published widely, including in Middle East Quarterly, The Atlantic, The Journal of International Security Affairs, Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Weekly Standard, The Times of India, and the National Post.[7]

His consulting work has included live hostage negotiations, work on border security issues, and story development for major media companies. He frequently leads training for the U.S. military and federal, state, and local law enforcement; in 2009 he received a Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace Support Excellence Award from U.S. Army Central Command for this work. Gartenstein-Ross has also served as a Subject Matter Expert designing and delivering training for the U.S. State Department's Office of Antiterrorism Assistance, and was recently an expert witness in a successful asylum case where the asylee feared retribution from Somalia's al-Shabaab due to his family's support of the country's transitional federal government.[7]

Gartenstein-Ross co-authored two reports in 2009, Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K. and Terrorism in the West 2008. The former is an empirical examination of the radicalization process in 117 homegrown jihadi terrorists that provides a new framework for understanding the impact of religious ideology. Brian Michael Jenkins described the work as "an important study that adds to our knowledge of terrorist radicalization."[7] He has also testified before the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.[10]

Bin Laden's LegacyEdit

In 2011, Gartenstein-Ross wrote Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing the War on Terror. The central argument of the book is that in the decade since 9/11, the U.S. has grown weaker: It has been bogged down by costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al Qaeda said that "Daveed Gartenstein-Ross has written an analytically sharp, fluidly written account of al Qaeda and its affiliates in the post-bin Laden era. It makes for sobering and essential reading."[11] Clark Kent Ervin, former Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security said "this book is an important contribution to the post-bin Laden debate about how to fight terrorism smarter and cheaper at a time of constraints on America's power and purse."[11]

While the book was widely received with positive reviews, there have been criticism of the feasibility of some of the policy prescriptions found in the final chapter.[12]

Religion and politicsEdit

In February 2007, he released his first book, My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir. In an article entitled "The First Openly Muslim Priest", Gartenstein-Ross shed light on his later views on religion, saying, "The highest purpose of interfaith dialogue is not to create some strange hybrid religion that reconciles two faiths that make competing truth claims. Rather, at its best, interfaith dialogue can help people build relationships of understanding, respect, and cooperation even though they adhere to faiths that cannot simultaneously be true."[13]

Gartenstein-Ross has been described as a "conservative counterterrorism expert"[14] and a "zealous foe to Islamism."[15] Despite these labels, Gartenstein-Ross has taken several positions contrary to many conservatives. In early 2010, after President Barack Obama announced the U.S. envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Rashad Hussain, and the following controversy, Gartenstein-Ross wrote:

He is not only beset by criticism for a quote he has admitted to making about the prosecution of Sami al-Arian in 2004 (at the age of 24) but also by insinuations and accusations about his participation in, as Cal Thomas calls them, "events connected with the Muslim Brotherhood." Much of the criticism has taken on a crude sensationalistic tone. The American Thinker calls Rashad "pro-jihadist" and the Jawa Report calls him a "terrorist sympathizer," while Brad Blakeman argued in a Fox News appearance that Rashad has "more in common with our enemies than what we stand for as a nation." Most directly, Pamela Geller suggests that Rashad Hussain is a "jihadist in the White House." I write to provide a different perspective on Rashad Hussain's views and character.[16]

Shortly after, Marc Lynch posted his perspective of the "smear campaign"[17] against Hussain and cited Gartenstein-Ross' article:

The bright spot in this sordid affair has been the willingness of a few national security experts on the hawkish side of the spectrum to stand up in public and denounce the railroading of Hussain. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wrote a powerful personal defense of Hussein as primarily motivated by civil liberties concerns, not by Islamism. He took that defense on TV, where he had to face the wild-eyed insanity of Frank Gaffney (apparently, memorizing the Quran is evidence of extremism) and to confront head-on the madness of the anti-Islamic post-9/11 fringe. Some other conservative national security experts rose to Gartenstein-Ross's defense—I'll single out Max Boot and Eli Lake, though they certainly aren't the only ones. For others, well, welcome to the Islamofascist stealth jihad, ya Daveed.[17]

Also in early 2010, Gartenstein-Ross came to the defense of Erroll Southers following President Obama's nomination of Southers to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Gartenstein-Ross wrote:

The controversy surrounding President Obama's nomination of Erroll Southers to head TSA has been growing. The latest salvo in the attacks on Southers is that he is soft on terrorism. This charge originated with a post by Erick Erickson at entitled "The Man Who Would Keep Us Safe From Terrorists Would Rather Focus on Baptists Than Islamic Terrorists." Since then, some of the claims in Erickson's piece have been amplified by major media such as Fox News, and have also been widely circulated on the blogs. Today Americans for Limited Government chimed in by calling for Obama to withdraw his nomination of Southers for "equating pro-life, Christian, and anti-government Americans to real terrorists." The attacks against Southers are off base, demonstrably so. Southers is a serious and well-qualified security professional who would make an excellent head of TSA, and who would make our country safer in that role.[18]


  1. ^ "Daveed Gartenstein-Ross". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. November 1, 2007. Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000175166. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  2. ^ Gartenstein-Ross, D (2005-12-11). "Extremists among us?". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  3. ^ "Valens Global". Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  4. ^ "Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross". Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  5. ^ Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing the War on Terror
  6. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on 2011-05-08. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  7. ^ a b c d "Biography". Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  8. ^, Hambo Development -. "Foundation for Defense of Democracies". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  9. ^, Hambo Development -. "Foundation for Defense of Democracies". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  10. ^ Gartenstein-Ross, D (2006-09-19). "Prison Radicalization: Are Terrorist Cells Forming in U.S. Cell Blocks?" (pdf). United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  11. ^ a b Advance Praise for Bin Laden's Legacy
  12. ^ Review of Bin Laden's Legacy, NDU Press Blog, September 15, 2011
  13. ^ Gartenstein-Ross, D (2007-07-19). "The First Openly Muslim Priest". First Things. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  14. ^ Useem, Andrea (July 23, 2008). "The Emergent Islam I Want". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  15. ^ "Boot and Hanson, Final Round: Fixing Our Mistakes - Commentary". 2 February 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  16. ^ "A defense of Rashad Hussain". Long War Journal. FDD. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  17. ^ a b Lynch, Marc. "The Smearing of Rashad Hussain". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Is Obama's TSA nominee soft on terrorism?". Long War Journal. FDD. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2018.

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