Lisa Daftari is an award-winning investigative journalist focusing on foreign affairs with expertise in the Middle East and counterterrorism. She regularly appears on television and radio with commentary and analysis, providing exclusive reporting on vital developments in the region. She frequently appears as an on-air political analyst and has previously been featured on Fox News, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, ABC, Voice of America, SiriusXM, The Washington Post, AOL News, Yahoo News, Jerusalem Post and others. Lisa has been interviewed in Spanish, English and Persian (Farsi). In over a decade of coverage in the region, Lisa’s areas of expertise include the Middle East and North Africa, terrorism, national security, cyber security, anti-Semitism, global Christian persecution, human rights and more.
She is frequently called upon to give briefings and expert testimony to government and private entities and has worked for a number of think tanks in Washington, where she has written exclusive reports for the Pentagon and other government groups.
Lisa gained vital newsroom experience working as a producer in the investigative unit at NBC in Los Angeles, where she helped break the story of the 2005 Jamiyaat Ul-Islam Is-Saheed (JIS) terror group’s plot to bomb prominent sites in Los Angeles, including several military bases, a number of synagogues and the Federal Building. In 2006, Lisa was invited to show her documentary film about an Iranian underground political movement in Congress, calling for global attention on human rights abuses and regime change in Iran.
Lisa holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism and completed her undergraduate degree in Middle East studies, Spanish and vocal performance at Rutgers University, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
After graduate school, Lisa received a Carnegie-Knight fellowship, focusing her research on ‘A post-9/11 America.’
The Washington Times named Lisa one of the 30 Hottest Women in Politics and last year, she did a TED Talk on fake news.
She is fluent in Farsi and Spanish and is an avid opera singer and pianist. Lisa grew up in a suburb of New York City and currently travels back and forth between NYC and LA.
- Editor-in-Chief, The Foreign Desk
- Host, The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari
Book Lisa for a talk, event, hosting, or panels.
- Foreign Affairs
- Middle Eastern Affaris