Yael Eisenstat

Global political, security, CSR expert

General Information

New York, NY
Afternoons Monday - Friday
Eastern Time (US & Canada)


Yaël has spent 17 years working at the intersection of political, social and security issues, as a CIA analyst, a diplomat in East Africa, the senior intelligence officer at the National Counterterrorism Center, a national security advisor to Vice President Biden, a corporate social responsibility strategist for a Fortune 5 company, and the head of a global political risk firm.

Yaël spent 13 years in government, working on conflicts and national security issues in Africa and the Middle East from within five separate agencies, making her a true inter-agency expert. Her roles included: Five years as a CIA analyst working on Africa political and leadership issues, global humanitarian crises, coordinating intelligence for the war in Afghanistan; two years as a foreign service officer in Kenya heading the Embassy's counterterrorism strategy, as the political-military officer, and as the representative to marginalized communities; three years at the National Counterterrorism Center working on Africa issues and as the senior intelligence officer in charge of the President's Daily Brief; a year and a half as a Special Advisor to Vice President Biden for Africa and for global counterterrorism issues; and a year and a half embedded on the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York with the East Africa squad.  

After her government tenure, she spent two years in-house at ExxonMobil in Irving, TX working on the corporation's corporate social responsibility strategy and programs. She established mechanisms to quantify the impact of the corporation's global philanthropic efforts, particularly in the women's economic opportunities program. She also developed the corporation's external stakeholder engagement strategy related to CSR efforts.

Yaël moved to New York in 2013 to head a global political risk firm, managing the operations team and working across the firm's disciplines to advise clients on political, corruption and reputation risks in challenging markets. In 2016, she founded Kilele Global, a boutique consulting firm providing intelligence-based advice to help companies and start-ups operating in emerging markets do so smartly and with purpose.

Yaël speaks, writes and consults on a variety of topics, particularly at the intersection of security, political and humanitarian issues, or as she calls it, whole-of-society approaches to tackling complex global challenges. She is an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs, and she provides context and analysis on national security, political and foreign affairs in the media, as a speaker and through workshops and seminars. She has been published in the New York Times and TIME, has appeared on CNN, CBS News, in policy forums, and on a number of podcasts.