Lyla Kohistany Bio

Lyla served on active duty from 2001 to 2007 as a Naval Surface Warfare and Intelligence officer, deploying to Bagram with Special Operations in 2005 as a counter-terrorism analyst.

From 2008 to 2013, she consulted for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). From 2013 to 2014, Lyla served as the Cultural Advisor for the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan/Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan.

Lyla currently consults for USSOCOM as Senior Cultural Advisor and is the Director of Government Programs at the Cultural Intelligence Center, a global firm focused on diversity and inclusion. Her favorite role is President/Co-founder of PROMOTE, a nonprofit developing inclusive national security leaders.

Her memberships include the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation, Truman National Security Project, and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. She was a 2017 fellow at Veterans in Global Leadership and a 2018 Scholar at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Veteran Leadership Program. She’s an Ambassador for the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation and a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Board of Veterans Services.

Lyla holds a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and a M.A. from Georgetown University. She’s an avid Star Wars aficionado and spends every free moment with her niece and nephews.