Diana Ohlbaum

Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy


Diana Ohlbaum, Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy

Diana Ohlbaum directs FCNL’s foreign policy lobbying team and leads an effort to replace the current U.S. foreign policy paradigm of military domination and national superiority with a more ethical and effective one based on cooperation and mutual respect.

She brings to FCNL nearly two decades of experience on Capitol Hill, where she served as a senior professional staff member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and earlier as an aide to Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD). During her time as a congressional staff member, Diana coordinated efforts to overhaul the outdated Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, improve oversight of arms sales and security assistance, and promote diplomacy and multilateralism.

Immediately prior to joining FCNL in August 2018, Diana worked as an independent consultant specializing in advocacy, political strategy and legislative impact. Most of her clients were non-governmental organizations and foundations working in the areas of sustainable development and human security.

Diana also has experience in the executive branch and in the nonprofit sector. From 1999-2001 she served as deputy director of USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, a cutting-edge unit designed to advance peace and democracy in priority conflict-prone countries. She also worked as director of public policy for InterAction, an alliance of NGOs engaged in humanitarian relief and international development.

Diana is currently a member of the executive committees of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and the Center for International Policy, and serves on the Advisory Council of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Russian studies from Amherst College.

Articles by Diana Ohlbaum

Update The Good News You Didn’t Hear About 

Lost in the media frenzy over budget negotiations, congressional investigations and military operations was a bill that contained several pieces of good news. The State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill – the annual measure that supports diplomacy and development around the globe – was approved by the House Appropriations Committee with new provisions that advance FCNL’s legislative agenda.

Letter Letter to Congress: Fund a More Peaceful, Sustainable, and Compassionate Foreign Policy 

In the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process, Congress should prioritize funding for peacebuilding, international environmental programs, and refugee protection.

Action Alert A Veto Won’t Stop Our Work for Peace in Yemen 

On April 16, President Trump vetoed S.J.Res. 7, a bipartisan resolution approved by solid majorities of the House and Senate to end U.S. military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Update Our Takeaways from the 2019 State of the Union 

Which Donald Trump appeared on the floor of the House of Representatives on Feb. 5? Was it the belligerent president who threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea? Or the anti-interventionist president who called the Iraq war a “big, fat mistake”?

Update 5 Things We’d Like to Hear President Trump Say in the State of the Union 

In this divisive and toxic political environment, it is rare for our political parties to agree on anything of substance – and even rarer for them to admit they agree. But here at FCNL, we are always looking for common ground that leads toward a world without war or the threat of war.

Update Support dialogue and diplomacy, not military intervention in Venezuela 

The people of Venezuela have suffered through years of severe economic hardship and political crisis brought on by a repressive and authoritarian government.

Update Piling On Syria Sanctions Undermines Diplomacy 

In the coming days and weeks, FCNL expects the House and the Senate to vote on two measures -- the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act (H.R. 31) in the House and the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S. 1) in the Senate – that would add a new layer of sanctions to those already in effect against Syria.