Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Think Tank Staffer Fired For Lying on Resume

Elizabeth O'Bagy, a Senior Research Analyst and Syria Team Lead at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), has been fired from the think tank for lying about having a Ph.D.

Here is what Politico writes:
The Syria researcher whose Wall Street Journal op-piece was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain during congressional hearings about the use of force has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about having a Ph.D., the group announced on Wednesday.
O’Bagy’s Aug. 30 op-ed piece for the Journal, “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War,” was cited by both Kerry and McCain last week. McCain read from the piece last Tuesday to Kerry, calling it “an important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy.” The next day, Kerry also brought up the piece before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and described it as a “very interesting article” and recommended that members read it.
But the piece had also come under fire for misrepresenting her affiliations. Originally the op-ed only listed O’Bagy, 26, as only “a senior analyst” at the ISW, later adding a clarification that disclosed her connection to a Syrian rebel advocacy group.
“In addition to her role at the Institute for the Study of War, Ms. O’Bagy is affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit operating as a 501(c)(3) pending IRS approval that subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition,” the WSJ added in its clarification.
Her biography on the ISW website now says that "contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O'Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University.  ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O'Bagy's employment, effective immediately."

Here is a Huffington Post article about Ms. O'Bagy's ties to the Syria Emergency Task Force.

Here is a recent Think Tank Watch post on ISW's new Syria blog.

This is not the fist time that Ph.D.'s/dissertations have gotten think tankers in trouble.  Remember the Heritage Foundation's Jason Richwine?

ISW, founded in May 2007 by Dr. Kimberly Kagan, was established to provide real-time, independent, and open-source analysis of ongoing military operations and insurgent attacks in Iraq.  General Jack Keane (U.S. Army, Ret.) is the Chairman of ISW's Board of Directors.