Jesse Marks is the senior advocate for the Middle East at Refugees International. He is a policy practitioner and humanitarian researcher with extensive experience in humanitarian response, foreign policy, and multilateral perspectives on aid. He has spent over five years in the United States, Middle East, Europe, and Asia, researching, advocating, and reporting on humanitarian crises, particularly on improving access to victims of conflict in hard-to-reach areas and working with multiple stakeholders to prevent refugee refoulement.

Most recently, Jesse served as a non-resident fellow at the Stimson Center’s China Program, where he researched China’s mediation and response to humanitarian crises in the Middle East. Before that, he was a Middle East policy advisor and inaugural McCain Fellow in the U.S. Government, focusing on the Levant region, including Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. Previously, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Jordan Center for Strategic Studies, where he offered advice to U.S. and foreign embassies in Jordan on managing complex humanitarian responses to Middle East conflicts. He was also a Scoville Fellow at the Stimson Center’s Protecting Civilians in Conflict Program, where he worked with U.S. policymakers on developing effective measures to protect internally displaced Syrians. Additionally, he worked for the Executive Office of UNHCR Jordan, where he collaborated with senior UN officials to expand humanitarian access in Syria and prevent forced return.

Jesse has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs and the Washington Post, and with a variety of think tanks such as the Stimson Center, Middle East Institute, and New Lines Institute. He holds an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge, with a focus on the political dynamics of humanitarianism in the Syrian War; a master’s degree in Global Affairs with a focus on China studies from Tsinghua University in Beijing; and a bachelor’s degree in Middle East Studies and Arabic from Florida State University.