US Policy towards Yemen: An Interview with Danya Greenfield

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today in DC, an event orchestrated by the Atlantic Council and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) took place discussing US foreign policy towards Yemen. During the discussion, the three speakers (Greenfield, Heyedmann and Al-Bukari) talked about the nature of US and Yemeni attitudes towards each other. Although one would assume that these opinions are public knowledge, it felt as if a big secret was finally out.  It was amongst the few (if not the first) big Washington DC-event that directly pointed out that some of the US's policies towards Yemen were "counterproductive". The event, which included the President of the Polling Center, Hafez Al Bukari, brought a lot of awareness to Americans. Danya Greenfield and Stephen McInerney (Executive Directer of POMED) collected 31 signatures to advise Obama's administration of reassessing US policy towards Yemen (emphasizing the excessive use of Drones). 

I met with Danya Greenfield for the first time about two months ago and I was pleased to observe her in her element. For an established woman (she is currently the Deputy Director of the Rafik Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council), she was humble and formed her opinions carefully after doing a lot of research. She did one thing that most people in her position don't: she listened.

A month ago, I sat down with Ms. Greenfield and we talked about the relationship between the US and Yemen. Here is what she had to say: