Emma Sky, OBE, is a British expert on the Middle East. From 2007 to 2010, she served in Iraq as the political advisor to US General Ray Odierno, and as the Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority from 2003 to 2004. She is currently Director of the Yale University World Fellows program and a Senior Fellow at Yale's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where she lectures on Iraq and Middle East politics.
Sky was born and raised in England. She attended Dean Close School and earned her undergraduate degree in oriental studies at Somerville College, Oxford University. She also studied at Alexandria University in Egypt, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and the University of Liverpool.
Following Oxford, Sky spent about ten years working for nongovernmental organisations in development and conflict resolution.
During this period, Sky primarily lived and worked in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, managing projects for the British Council to help build up the capacity of Palestinian institutions, and to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2001, Sky returned to the UK and continued working for the British Council, where she remained until the launch of the 2003 Iraq War.
Although opposed to the invasion of Iraq, Sky volunteered to join the Coalition Provisional Authority and served as the Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk from 2003 to 2004. From 2007 to 2010, Sky served as the Political Advisor to US General Raymond T. Odierno when he was the Commanding General of Multi-National Corps – Iraq and Commanding General of US Forces Iraq.
In between her tours in Iraq, Sky served in 2005 in Jerusalem as the Political Advisor to General Kip Ward, the US Security Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. In 2006, she was based in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Development Advisor to the Italian and British Commanding Generals of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
Based on her experiences in Iraq, Sky testified before the Iraq Inquiry in January 2011.
Sky is currently Director of Yale University's World Fellows program and Senior Fellow at Yale's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where she lectures on Iraq and Middle East politics. Previously, she was a Visiting Professor at King's College London and a Fellow at Oxford's Changing Character of War Programme. She was a Spring 2011 Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
Sky was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2003 and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2008 in recognition of her service in Iraq.