Algene T. Sajery is a seasoned foreign policy and security expert. She is founder & CEO of Catalyst Global Strategies, LLC, a public affairs firm offering bespoke government relations, partnership development, commercial diplomacy, stakeholder engagement and strategic communications services. Catalyst partners with nonprofits, businesses, foundations, and impact investors to advance, fund, and scale policies and initiatives that improve the lives and livelihoods of people in the developing world.

Prior to launching Catalyst in October 2022, Algene was a Biden-Harris campaign foreign policy volunteer working on the counterterrorism policy team. She also worked on the Biden -Harris Transition team that prepared now- Secretary of State Tony Blinken for his Senate confirmation hearing.

From January 2021- October 2022, Algene was a Biden-Harris Administration appointee, serving as vice president of the Office of External Affairs and head of Global Gender Equity Initiatives at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). In this capacity, she led a team of public affairs professionals, spearheaded the agency’s 2X gender-lens investing initiative, oversaw all external engagement and communications for the agency, and supported agency diversity, equity, inclusion, and employee engagement efforts. She doubled the size of her department, including by establishing a stakeholder engagement team.  Algene and her team helped prepare DFC personnel and nominees for Senate confirmation, as well as Congressional budget hearings, policy briefings, and potential client presentations.  A member of the DFC’s Executive Leadership team, Algene served on the agency’s Investment Committee, evaluating transactions over $20 million, engaged with the Board of Directors and Development Advisory Council and was the agency’s liaison to the White House Gender Policy Council. Dual-hatted as Head of DFC’s 2X Gender Lens Investing Initiative, Algene worked to strengthen the program by helping to establish new robust goals, launch its first-ever technical assistance finance facility, and secure more resources and staff for the program. In this role, Algene also helped launch the 2X Collaborative with partner DFIs and the private sector.

Algene previously spent nearly two decades on Capitol Hill. She was senior foreign policy and national security advisor to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (MD) from 2012-2020 and, from 2015-2018, concurrently as democratic policy director of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC). She was the first African American woman to serve in a senior leadership role on SFRC. While in the Senate, Algene worked on various human rights, rule of law, and OFAC sanctions initiatives, as well as political-military affairs, conflict prevention and resolution, mining and critical minerals, cybersecurity, and embassy security legislative initiatives.  She was the lead Senate staff author, negotiator, and implementation oversight director for several national security laws, including the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act, the Syria War Crimes Accountability Act, and the Eli Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act. Algene previously held leadership roles in the House of Representatives, including as democratic staff director for the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights; and chief of staff and legislative director to Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY). She began her Congressional career in 2002 as a scheduler and press secretary to the late Rep. John Conyers (MI).

Algene hosts The Minority Leaders Podcast highlighting women of color in policymaking and politics. She is on the Board of Directors of Leadership Council for Women in National Security ( and Global Health Council (



  • Founder & CEO, Catalyst Global Strategies, LLC.
  • Former Biden administration political appointee: vice president, Office of External Affairs & head, Global Gender Equity Initiatives, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
  • Former policy director: Senate Foreign Relations Committee; first African American woman to serve as a senior leader of the committee.
  • Former senior foreign policy & national security advisor: U.S. Senate.
  • Former subcommittee staff director: House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.
  • Former chief of staff: House of Representatives
  • Lead staff author and/or lead Democratic negotiator of landmark national security laws, including: the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act; the Syrian War Crimes and Accountability Act; the Foreign Aid Traansparency and Accountability Act; the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act; the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act; the Global Food Security Act, the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
  • 2022 Honoree: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Diversity in National Security Network (DINSN): U.S. National Security & Foreign Affairs Leaders.



  • S. foreign policy and national security; defense trade and foreign military sales; human rights sanctions regimes; cybersecurity; global health; food security; international economic development; development finance; global women’s issues; diversity and inclusion; and rule of law.
  • Regions: Africa, East Asia, Central America, and the Middle East.
  • S. Congress: Congressional role in foreign policy decision-making; legislative process and negotiations.
  • Federal budget and appropriations process.
  • Political campaign strategy.



  • Legislative Strategy: legislative strategy development, negotiations, and implementation; legislative analysis and impact assessments; appropriations strategy.
  • Congressional Outreach: Congressional hearing and Senate confirmation preparation; Congressional member and staff delegation site visit planning and execution.
  • Public Affairs: strategic communications; message development; relationship development and management; and coalition building;
  • Global Business Development: partnership development, corporate social responsibility strategy development, regulatory agency outreach; diversity and inclusion strategy; sanctions analysis.
  • Political Strategy: candidate guidance on foreign policy and national security; campaign messaging and grassroots outreach strategy; and political action committee strategy.