Ms. Ashley McIlvain Moran directs the State Fragility Initiative at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, where she leads research on state fragility dynamics, the intersection of fragility and climate risks globally, democratic governance aid in Africa, and water and conflict in the Middle East. She also serves as a core researcher on the Center's Department of Defense-funded program on Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia, where she oversees development of mapping and analytical tools to share program research with the policy community. She previously directed the Center’s long-standing DoD-funded program on Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) and served for three years as the Center’s associate director. She is currently a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project. She previously served as parliamentary advisor in the Republic of Georgia for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), ran democratic reform programs and trainings in Iraq and Azerbaijan for NDI, and designed rule of law programs in Kyrgyzstan for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Her research focuses on the intersection of constitutional order and conflict, the role of constitutional courts in securing stability in new democracies, security assistance, and democratic legal and institutional reform. She received an MALD in comparative law and development economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in comparative constitutional law at the University of Texas at Austin.