James Barnett is a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he studies conflict, terrorism, and geopolitics in Africa. He has extensive fieldwork experience in conflict environments across Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Ukraine.
He is also a research fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Abuja, Nigeria, and in 2021, he was a Fulbright research fellow at the University of Lagos for nine months. Additionally, in 2023, he served as a long-term analyst on the International Republican Institute-National Democratic Institute international election observation mission to Nigeria. Before joining Hudson, he held research or analyst positions with the United States Institute of Peace, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. He was also a 2016–17 Boren Scholar in Tanzania.
Barnett holds a BA with highest honours in history and Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA with distinction in war studies from King’s College London. He speaks Swahili, Arabic, and Spanish.