About Christine Balling
In 2009, Ms. Balling founded FundaciónECCO, a Colombian-registered nonprofit organization that promoted democracy and youth leadership in areas of conflict. She led counter-recruitment projects in areas where the FARC insurgency operated, working with U.S. Army Civil Affairs teams and the Colombian Army, Air Force and the National Police. Her foundation received grants from USAID, U.S. Special Operations Command South, the International Organization for Migration and Spirit of America.
From 2013 to 2014, Ms. Balling served as a Subject Matter Expert to the U.S. Special Operations South (SOCSOUTH) commander on demobilization and counter-recruitment issues. In June
2015, Ms. Balling was pinned by the Colombian Minister of Defense with the Colombian Armed Forces’ “Medal of Distinguished Service” in recognition of her work. As part of her field work, Ms. Balling interviewed numerous female demobilized FARC and ELN fighters, along with female Yazidi peshmerga fighters in Iraq. She has published articles in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, the Small Wars Journal and Thehill.com. She has lectured at the Escuela Superior de Guerra in Bogotá, the National Defense University’s William J. Perry Center, the Institute of World Politics and Harvard Summer School. In 2019, she testified as an expert witness at a Senate Foreign Relations sub-committee hearing on U.S./Colombia relations. She is currently the Federal Programs Director for Rstor.io and Sylabs.io.
Ms. Balling received her B.A.in English Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University and earned an Executive M.A. in National Security Affairs at the Institute of World Politics. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Universidad El Bosque in Bogotá, Colombia and is a 2020 recipient of the Phillips Academy Andover Alumni Award of Distinction.