Emily Stranger is the regional expertise and culture (REC) instructor for the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Command and a PhD candidate in the Central Eurasian Studies department at Indiana University (IU). She is also a 2022-2023 Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) Non-Resident Fellow. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, “The Return to Iranshahr: Islamic Republic of Iran’s Strategic Choices for Power and Influence in the 21st Century.”

Emily’s past research has focused on Iran-sponsored militias and Iran’s use of social media to export revolutionary ideas, and her master’s thesis was nominated for IU’s Graduate School Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award in 2019. At IU, Emily studied Azerbaijani, Sorani Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Arabic, Persian, Uzbek, and Pahlavi/Middle Persian languages. Additionally, she has written several articles for RealClearWorld that focus on Iran’s use of non-states actors to wield influence inside of nearby states.