The Syria researcher whose Wall Street Journal op-piece was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain during congressional hearings about the use of force has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about having a Ph.D., the group announced on Wednesday.

“The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University,” the institute said in a statement. “ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”

O’Bagy told POLITICO in an interview Monday that she had submitted and defended her dissertation and was waiting for Georgetown University to confer her degree. O’Bagy said she was in a dual master’s and doctorate program at Georgetown.

Kimberly Kagan, who founded the ISW in 2007, said in an interview that while she was “deeply saddened” by the situation, she stands by O’Bagy’s work on Syria.

”Everything I’ve looked at is rock solid,” Kagan told POLITICO. “Every thread that we have pulled upon has been verified through multiple sources.”

O’Bagy started at the institute as an unpaid intern and was pulled into their work on Syria when a researcher needed a fluent Arabic speaker, which transformed her internship into a much longer gig. Kagan hired O’Bagy as an analyst around August or September 2012, and said her understanding was that O’Bagy was working toward her Ph.D. at Georgetown
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WSJ op-ed writer Elizabeth O’Bagy fired for resume lie – Mackenzie Weinger and Kate Brannen – POLITICO.com.