Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


Lisa Daftari


Lisa Daftari is an award-winning investigative journalist, political analyst and commentator frequently appearing on Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera, CBS, NBC, Voice of America and SiriusXM focusing on foreign policy topics such as the Middle East and North Africa, terrorism, national security, human rights, and cyber security.

Lisa also serves as director and founding editor of The Foreign Desk, a news platform covering stories and analysis from around the globe with an emphasis on their impact on U.S. foreign policy. She publishes a popular daily top-10 email briefing with the day’s most vital foreign affairs stories, reaching 250,000 monthly subscribers and is also the host of the highly acclaimed Foreign Desk podcast.

Lisa is a sought-after voice with sharp analysis sharing briefings and testimonies with prestigious institutions like the United Nations, Congress, and various private entities. She has worked for several think tanks in Washington, where she has written exclusive reports for the Pentagon and other government groups and was called upon to work closely with the White House on the roll out of the Abraham Accords. Lisa speaks fluent Persian, Spanish and English.

Receiving presidential scholarships throughout her academic career, Lisa holds a master's degree from the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and an undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern studies, Spanish and vocal performance from Rutgers University. While in journalism school, Lisa was invited to show her documentary thesis on the underground freedom movement in Iran in Congress. Lisa was also the recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Knight journalism fellowship.

In recognition of her commendable work in reporting global human rights atrocities, Lisa was presented with the Medal of Valor by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in May of 2023. Later that year, the Jewish Journal honored her with the Champion of Freedom award, acknowledging her efforts to amplify the struggles of those seeking independence and justice worldwide.

Beyond journalism, Lisa is a talented opera singer and pianist. She delivered a TED Talk on fake news in 2019 and was named one of the "30 Hottest Women in Politics" by the Washington Times. Currently, she is furthering her scholarly depth as a PhD candidate at the Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C.

Lisa was born and raised in a suburb of New York City and now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and young son.

  • Editor-in-Chief, The Foreign Desk
  • Host, The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari
  • Journalist
  • Commentator

Speaking Engagements

Book Lisa for a talk, event, hosting, or panels.

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Counterterrorism
  • Middle Eastern Affaris
  • Terrorism
  • Antisemitism