Gretchen is the Senior Fellow on Transnational Crime at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, School of Public Policy. She also co-chairs an OECD Task Force working to improve policy approaches to fight the trafficking of wildlife and other environmentally sensitive goods.
Gretchen is the author of Seeds of Terror, a ground-breaking book that traced the role the opium trade has played in three decades of conflict in Afghanistan. She spent five years researching the book, which Barrons called “a well-written, well-documented and exemplary work of journalism.” Gretchen later authored a policy report on the Afghan opium trade for the U.S. Institute of Peace, and has written a paper about Haqqani network financing with West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.
She has supported U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counter Narcotics and Global Threats in understanding and analyzing the links between conflict and organized crime.
Gretchen has testified before the U.S. Congress about the Haqqani network and is a frequent commentator on television and radio including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, Fox, Reuters, and New York Times among others. She has done presentations on her work for the Pentagon, the State Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Special Operations Command, the Navy Seals, more than a dozen think tanks and universities, and for thousands of U.S. servicemen and women deploying to Afghanistan.
Gretchen holds a Masters’ Degree in International Relations from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, where she was awarded the Sié Chéou-Kang security and diplomacy fellowship and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers Life’s Choices Foundation Scholarship to examine illicit networks and transnational organized crime.
In a past life, Gretchen worked as a foreign correspondent, covering Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for The Associated Press and later for ABC News. She was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and won the SAJA Journalism Award for a 2010 segment on the former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf. She has also reported from Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Egypt and Kosovo. Gretchen has published editorials in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Foreign Policy, among other places. She speaks English and Spanish.