Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.
Charles Naas was Deputy Ambassador and Charge d'Affairs in Tehran during the initial stages of Iran's revolution. Preceding that he was Director of Iranian Affairs and served also in Pakistan, India, Turkey, Afghanistan, as the ME advisor at the US's UN delegation, and retired from The Policy Planning Staff.
Daniel Luban is a doctoral student in political science at the University of Chicago. He was formerly a correspondent for the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service.
David Isenberg is an independent researcher and writer on U.S. military, foreign policy, and national and international security issues. He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute, a Senior Analyst with the online geopolitical consultancy Wikistrat, an Associate at NatoWatch, a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and a consultant to Al Jazeera English. He is author of the book, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq. His blog, The PMSC Observer, focuses on private military and security contracting; a subject he has testified on to Congress. He also blogs regularly at the Huffington Post and previously was a United Press International columnist. He was a project director at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), a Senior Analyst at the British American Security Information Council, and Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Defense Information. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Oregon and M.A. in International Affairs from American University and is a U.S. Navy veteran. You can email him at sento[at]earthlink[dot]net.
Djavad Salehi-Isfahani conducts research on the economics of the Middle East and is currently a professor of economics at Virginia Tech. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and is also serving as the Dubai Initiative fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Economic Research Forum (2001-2006), a network of Middle East economists based in Cairo.
Eli Clifton is a reporter at the American Independent News Network. He formerly wrote on U.S. national security at ThinkProgress.org and reported on U.S. foreign policy as well as trade and finance at the Washington bureau of IPS. His articles have also appeared on Right Web and in the South China Morning Post. Eli has a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College and an MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics.
Emile Nakhleh is an expert on Middle Eastern society and politics and on political Islam. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico. He previously served in the Central Intelligence Agency from 1993-2006, first as scholar in residence and chief of the Regional Analysis Unit in the Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis and subsequently as director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program. Until 1993 Nakhleh taught at Mount St. Mary's University, where he was the John L. Morrison Professor of International Studies. Nakhleh's publications include, among others, A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World (2009), Bahrain: Political Development in a Modernizing Society (1976 and 2011), and The Gulf Cooperation Council: Policies, Problems, and Prospects (1986). Nakhleh holds a PhD from American University, an MA from Georgetown University, and a BA from Saint John's University, Minnesota.
Farideh Farhi is an Independent Scholar and Affiliate Graduate Faculty at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She has taught comparative politics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Hawai'i, University of Tehran, and Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. Her publications include States and Urban-Based Revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua (University of Illinois Press) and numerous articles and book chapters on compartative analyses of revolutions and Iranian politics. She has been a recipient of grants from the United States Institute of Peace and the Rockefeller Foundation and was most recently a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the International Crisis Group.
Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian specializing in U.S. "national security" policy and institutions. He has been a regular contributor to Inter Press Service since 2004 and has published longer investigative articles in The Nation, Salon, Truthout and The Raw Story. His analyses also appear regularly at Al Jazeera English. He is the author of Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (U. of California Press).
Henry Precht, a retired Foreign Service Officer, worked mainly in the Middle East. His assignments included the Arab-Israel Desk after the 1967 war, four years in Tehran as political-military officer, in charge of the State Department Iran Desk during the revolution and hostage crisis, and two tours in Egypt – Alexandria in the 1960s and deputy ambassador in Cairo 1981-85. Precht speaks and writes on the region, and has published a book of short stories, A Diplomat’s Progress.
Ira Glunts lives in Madison, New York where he operates a used and rare book business and is a college reference librarian. Mr. Glunts' writings have appeared on Mondoweiss.net, AntiWar.com, CommonDreams.org and PalestineChronicle. He can be reached at gluntsi[at]morrisville[dot]edu
James A. Russell is an Associate Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, where he is teaching courses on Middle East security affairs, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and national security strategy. His articles and commentaries have appeared in a wide variety of media and scholarly outlets around the world. His latest book is titled Innovation, Transformation and War: US Counterinsurgency Operations in Anbar and Ninewa Provinces, Iraq, 2005-2007 (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011). He is currently working on a book about learning in irregular war, focusing on US military operations in Afghanistan. Prior to arriving at NPS from 1988-2001, Mr. Russell held a variety of positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary Defense for International Security Affairs, Near East South Asia, Department of Defense. During this period he traveled extensively in the Persian Gulf and Middle East working on various aspects of US security policy. He holds a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in War Studies from the University of London. The views he expresses here are his own.
Jasmin Ramsey is the editor of Lobe Log and a journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous print and online publications including Inter Press Service, The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, Le Monde Diplomatique and Guernica Magazine. You can email her at jasmin[dot]ramsey[at]gmail[dot]com.
Jim Lobe is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy, particularly the neo-conservative influence in the Bush administration. The Washington Bureau Chief of the international news agency Inter Press Service (IPS), Lobe has also written for Al Jazeera English, Foreign Policy In Focus, Alternet, Tompaine.com, and was featured in BBC and ABC television documentaries about motivations for the US invasion of Iraq. Read his complete biography here.
Dr. Keith Weissman holds a PhD in Middle East history from the University of Chicago. From 1982 until 1991 he was a professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at universities in the Chicago area and the University of California at Berkeley. At Berkeley's Graduate School of Education he participated in the CLIO history project to improve and rewrite the history curricula in California's public schools. After moving to Washington, DC, he was the Deputy Director of Foreign Policy Issues and senior Middle East analyst at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) from 1993 until 2005, covering Iran, Middle East peace, Turkey, energy and Arab politics, among other topics. He has worked, travelled, and studied abroad, attending university in Mashhad, Iran, Cairo, and Jerusalem. He has also worked as a journalist, editing and writing "Middle East Week", and was the Managing Editor of Middle East Insight.
Kevan Harris is a sociologist at Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department. He received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University and was a 2010-11 US Institute of Peace Junior Scholar. He has spoken on contemporary Iranian politics and society at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Marsha B. Cohen is an analyst specializing in Israeli-Iranian relations and US foreign policy towards Iran and Israel. Her articles have been published by PBS/Frontline's Tehran Bureau. IPS, Alternet, Payvand and Global Dialogue. She earned her PhD in International Relations from Florida International University, and her BA in Political Philosophy from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Mitchell Plitnick is the former Director of the US Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and was previously the Director of Education and Policy for Jewish Voice for Peace. He is a widely published and respected policy analyst. Born in New York City, raised an Orthodox Jew and educated in Yeshiva, Mitchell grew up in an extremist environment that passionately supported the radical Israeli settler movement. Plitnick regularly speaks all over the country on current issues. His writing has appeared in the Jordan Times, Israel Insider, UN Observer, Middle East Report, Global Dialogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Die Blaetter Fuer Deutsche Und Internationale Politik, Outlook, and in a regular column for a time in Tikkun Magazine. He has been interviewed by various outlets including PBS News Hour, the O’Reilly Factor and CNBC Asia. Plitnick graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in Middle Eastern Studies and wrote his thesis on Israeli and Jewish historiography.
Omid Memarian is a journalist known for his news analysis and regular columns. He writes for the IPS (Inter Press Service) news agency, regularly contributes to the Daily Beast and has published op-ed pieces in The NY Times, The LA Times, The WSJ, The SF Chronicle and Time.com. A World Peace Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism from 2007-2009, he received Human Rights Watch's highest honor in 2005, the Human Rights Defender Award. He is the author of the Persian-language book Communication Skills (2004), and in 2013 he edited Sketches of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights. Throughout his career, Memarian has often consulted for think tanks and research institutions regarding Iran policy, and continues to play an active role in various policy and advocacy circles on the topic. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Paul Sullivan is an internationally recognized expert on security issues including energy security, water security and food security in the Middle East and North Africa. He is an economist by training and a multidisciplinary public intellectual by choice. He is an Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Future Global Resources Threats at the Federation of American Scientists.
Peter Jenkins was a British career diplomat for 33 years, following studies at the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard. He served in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brasilia and Geneva. He specialized in global economic and security issues. His last assignment (2001-06) was that of UK Ambassador to the IAEA and UN (Vienna). Since 2006 he has represented the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, advised the Director of IIASA and set up a partnership, ADRgAmbassadors, with former diplomatic colleagues, to offer the corporate sector dispute resolution and solutions to cross-border problems. He was an associate fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy from 2010 to 2012. He writes and speaks on nuclear and trade policy issues.
Richard Javad Heydarian is a Manila-based foreign affairs analyst, focusing on international and development issues in the MENA and Asia-Pacific regions. He has been a regular contributor to the Asia Times, Huffington Post, the Diplomat, and RT channel. His under-graduate and graduate research background was focused on the Iranian nuclear program, economic integration, and globalization. He has presented academic papers in numerous conferences across the Asia-Pacific and beyond, namely on the economics of the Arab spring, regional integration, and energy security issues.
Robert E. Hunter served as US ambassador to NATO (1993-98) and on the National Security Council staff throughout the Carter administration, first as Director of West European Affairs and then as Director of Middle East Affairs. In the last-named role, he was the White House representative at the Autonomy Talks for the West Bank and Gaza and developer of the Carter Doctrine for the Persian Gulf. He was Senior Advisor to the RAND Corporation from 1998 to 2011, and Director of the Center for Transatlantic Security Studies at the National Defense University, 2011-2012. He has been Chairman of the Council for a Community of Democracies since 2002 and, serves on the Academic Advisory Board at the NATO Defense College (Rome).
Dr. Sara Vakhshouri is the President of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC. She previously worked as an Energy Market Analyst and Advisor to the Director of the National Iranian Oil Company International (NIOCI), which priced, marketed and sold Iranian crude oil. Dr. Vakhshouri has a PhD in Energy Security and Middle Eastern Studies and two MAs in Business Management (International Marketing) and in International Relations. She is also a published scholar, having authored various articles published in The Economist, Oil and Gas Journal, Oil and Gas Review, Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), Strategic Affairs, Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Journal and The Huffington Post. She has regularly been interviewed and cited by the BBC, VOA, Reuters, Energy Intelligence and National Public Radio. She is also the author of The Marketing and Sale of Iranian Export Crude Oil Since the Islamic Revolution (2011).
Toby Craig Jones is associate professor of history and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. From 2012 to 2014 he will serve as co-Director of the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. He is also a non-resident scholar in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Senior Research Associate at Human Rights Watch in 2012. Jones is the author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010) and is currently writing a new book for Harvard titled America's Oil Wars. Jones is an editor of Middle East Report and has published widely, including in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Journal of American History, The Atlantic, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere. He has held fellowships at Swarthmore College and Princeton University. From 2004-2006 he was the Persian Gulf analyst at the International Crisis Group.
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s as well as The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, The United States of Fear (Haymarket Books), will be published in November.
Usha Sahay is the Director of Digital Outreach at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, D.C, where her work focuses on U.S. nuclear policy, foreign policy issues in Congress, and global nuclear nonproliferation efforts. She was a 2012 recipient of the Herbert Scoville, Jr. Peace Fellowship, which is awarded to college graduates with an interest in nuclear policy and other peace and security issues. Usha holds a dual bachelor’s degree in history and international politics from Columbia University.
Wayne White is a former Deputy Director of the State Department's Middle East/South Asia Intelligence Office (INR/NESA). Earlier in the Foreign Service and later in the INR he served in Niger, Israel, Egypt, the Sinai and Iraq as an intelligence briefer to senior officials of many Middle East countries and as the State Department's representative to NATO Middle East Working Groups in Brussels. Now a Scholar with the Middle East Institute, Mr. White has written numerous articles, been cited in scores of publications, and made numerous TV and radio appearances.
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