Heather Hurlburt

Associate Fellow, US and the Americas Programme

Heather Hurlburt, Director, New Models of Policy Change, New America


Heather Hurlburt has a distinguished career in analysing, explaining and working to close the gap between the practice of international affairs and the realities of politics in the United States.

From 2022 to 2024, she served as Chief of Staff to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, overseeing strategy and management for the agency charged with carrying out President Biden’s initiative for a worker-centred American trade policy.

Previously, she founded and ran the New Models of Policy Change project at the think tank New America’s Political Reform program. Her work there explored the intersection of international affairs policy and domestic political polarization, on topics from trade and climate to political violence to nuclear security. She also made the project a hub for analysis and convening around questions of diversity, gender and equity in international affairs.

Before joining New America, she held senior positions in conflict prevention and international affairs advocacy, including at the International Crisis Group and Human Rights First. 

She was a speechwriter and member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning staff under Secretaries of State Albright and Christopher, and a Special Assistant and speechwriter to President Bill Clinton. She also worked on Capitol Hill and on the US Delegation to the OSCE. 

She is widely published, and from 2017 to 2020 was a regular columnist for New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer. She is a co-founder of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security, serves on the US Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board, and holds degrees from Brown and George Washington Universities.