Elizabeth O'Bagy

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Elizabeth Bailey O'Bagy (born 1987) is a former senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who was terminated for job fraud.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

O'Bagy is originally from Holladay, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb,[6] and a 2005 graduate of Olympus High School. She is the daughter of David and Mickey O'Bagy.[1] O'Bagy attended Georgetown University and earned a B.A. in 2009 in Arabic from Georgetown College and M.A. in 2013, in Arab studies from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.[7][8][9]


Described as a "Syria researcher" in 2013, O'Bagy, who had previously written for The Atlantic, contributed an op-ed to The Wall Street Journal that was cited by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain during a U.S. Senate hearing to support possible United States military intervention into the Syrian civil war.[10] At the time of the hearing, O'Bagy's official biography listed the 26-year-old as "Dr. Elizabeth O'Bagy" and claimed she had received a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Following the hearing, however, the Institute for the Study of War terminated O'Bagy, posting a statement to its website that read "Elizabeth O'Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University" as she had previously represented to institute officials.[11]

O'Bagy also had an unrevealed affiliation with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a U.S.-based group advocating the armed overthrow of the government of Syria.[12] In her paid work with that group, done simultaneously with her job at the officially nonpartisan Institute for the Study of War, she had lobbied American political leaders to send heavy weaponry to Syrian insurgent groups.[13]

Two weeks after her dismissal from the Institute for the Study of War, O'Bagy was hired as a legislative assistant by U.S. Senator John McCain.[14]


  1. ^ a b "2005 STERLING SCHOLARS". Deseret News. February 22, 2005. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "Mabrūk, MAAS Class of 2013! - Center for Contemporary Arab Studies". Ccas.georgetown.edu. May 17, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "islamist-rebels-gains-in-syria-create-dilemma-for-us", nytimes.com, 2013/04/28.
  4. ^ "Pro-Syrian opposition 'analyst' fired for lying about credentials". Fox News. September 11, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  5. ^ George, Susannah. "Controversial Syria Researcher Fired Over Doctorate Claim". Buzzfeed.com. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Newton, Jay (September 17, 2013). "The Rise and Fall of Elizabeth O'Bagy". Time.com. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "WSJ op-ed writer Elizabeth O'Bagy fired for resume lie". Politico. September 11, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  8. ^ Winsor, Morgan (September 12, 2013). "Syria writer Elizabeth O'Bagy, cited by Kerry, McCain, fired for Ph.D. lie". CNN. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Buyon, Noah (September 25, 2013). "You've Been a Bad, Bad Hoya: Don't lie about being a Georgetown PhD". Georgetown Voice. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Pollowitz, Greg (September 11, 2013). "Elizabeth O'Bagy Fired". The National Review. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "Wagging the dog: The tale of Elizabeth O'Bagy – The Lead with Jake Tapper - CNN.com Blogs". Thelead.blogs.cnn.com. September 11, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Weinger, Mackenzie (September 11, 2013). "WSJ op-ed writer Elizabeth O'Bagy fired for resume lie". Politico. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  13. ^ Hudson, John (September 5, 2013). "Syrian Rebels' Representatives Divided Over White House Arms Pledge". Foreign Policy. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  14. ^ Evans, Ryan (September 27, 2013). "Failing Upward: Elizabeth O'Bagy's New Gig with McCain". National Interest. Retrieved September 27, 2013.