Victoria K. Holt is a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center. Her areas of expertise focus on issues relating to international security and multilateral tools, including peace operations and conflict prevention, the United Nations and Security Council, protection of civilians, crisis regions and U.S. policy-making. Prior to joining Stimson, Holt was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) at the U.S. Department of State, serving from 2009 to early 2017. In that role, she was responsible for U.S. policy and guidance for U.S. actions in the UN Security Council and for its mechanisms. She oversaw the Office of Peace Operations, Sanctions and Counter-terrorism, and the Office of United Nations Political Affairs. She led the development of U.S. diplomatic initiatives, including the 2015 Leaders’ Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping, hosted by President Obama to increase capacities for UN operations.
Holt was a Senior Associate at the Stimson Center, where she co-directed the Future of Peace Operations program from 2001-2009, writing and speaking widely on UN and regional peace operations, the protection of civilians and atrocity prevention, targeted sanctions, rule of law and U.S. policy. Holt served on the Genocide Prevention Task Force as the lead on military options and wrote a pioneering report on UN missions and the protection of civilians.
Holt served earlier as Senior Policy Advisor in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of State during the Clinton Administration, following a role as Executive Director of a bipartisan campaign to pay U.S. arrears to the United Nations.
Previously, she served on Capitol Hill for members of the House of Representatives, first as Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. George Hochbrueckner and then as Legislative Director for Rep. Tom Andrews, both members of the House Armed Services Committee, from 1987 to 1994. Holt also worked at Washington-based policy institutes on international affairs and nuclear weapons issues. She is a graduate of the Naval War College and Wesleyan University.