Chief Executive Officer, White Mountain Research; Senior Fellow, Africa Center, Atlantic Council
Chief Executive Officer of White Mountain Research, a small Virginia-based business providing tailored international security solutions to clients focused on Africa and the Middle East. White Mountain Research partners with like-minded organizations to save lives and resettle persecuted families in the Middle East and around the world. He currently oversees the evacuation and rescue of persecuted religious minorities in Northern Iraq and Syria, and his team has funded and rebuilt homes in the region.
Before retiring in 2009 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after twenty-one years of service in the US Air Force, Atallah's military career included aviation, special operations, intelligence, and counterterrorism. In his last military posting, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Africa Counterterrorism Director (2003-09), while concurrently holding positions as East Africa Director (2003-07) and Country Director for Morocco and Tunisia (2007-09). He was Air Force Defense Attaché accredited to six West African countries; Director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Orientation Course at the Joint Special Operations University; and instructor pilot with over 4 000 flight hours, including combat flight time. A native of Beirut, Lebanon, fluent in Arabic and French, Atallah holds a Bachelor of science in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree of science in International Relations from Troy University.