Gayle Lemmon

Council on Foreign Relations

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, a New York Times best seller published in March 2011 by HarperCollins, about a young entrepreneur who supported her community under the Taliban.

Gayle began her career as a journalist in Washington. From 1997 to 2004, she covered presidential politics and public policy issues for the ABC News Political Unit and served as an editorial producer during the first year of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” In 2004, she left ABC News to pursue her interest in international development and began MBA study at Harvard. After business school, she served as a vice president at the global investment firm PIMCO, where she worked in the executive office and in emerging markets.

Gayle has reported on Afghanistan since 2005, when she made her first trip to the country. She has written about the country’s politics and economy, the evolving roles of Afghan women, and the small but important class of young entrepreneurs, for publications including The New York Times, The Financial Times, Fast Company, The Christian Science Monitor, and Newsweek Daily Beast.In 2010, she was featured on the cover of the Harvard Business School alumni magazine for her work on entrepreneurs in conflict and postconflict zones.

Gayle regularly appears on a number of broadcast networks, including PBS, MSNBC, CNN and National Public Radio, to discuss foreign policy issues. In December 2011, she gave the opening talk at TEDxWomen, which focused on why investing in women can make the difference for the global economy. Her presentation was named a “TED Talk of the Day.”

Gayle graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She received an MBA from Harvard, as well as the 2006 Dean’s Award for her work on women’s entrepreneurship. She served as a Fulbright scholar in Spain and a Robert Bosch Foundation fellow in Germany. She serves on the boards of Mercy Corps and the International Center for Research on Women.