July 30, 2013 | Press Release

FDD Welcomes Saudi Arabia and Gulf Expert David Weinberg as Senior Fellow


Washington, DC – The Foundation for Defense of Democracies proudly welcomed David Andrew Weinberg this week as a senior fellow focusing on Saudi Arabia and Gulf Affairs.

 “The importance of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries for the security of the United States and its allies cannot be overstated,” said FDD President Cliff May. “Yet serious scholarship on these societies is far from abundant.  We look forward to David's contributions.” 

“Top-notch scholarship on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf is crucial right now. The Saudis play an important role in Egypt and Syria, and they remain a crucial source of oil,” added Jonathan Schanzer, FDD's Vice President for Research.  “David's insights will help Washington better understand Saudi Arabia's policies in these areas and more.”

Before joining FDD, Dr. Weinberg was a Visiting Fellow at UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development.  Prior to that, he served as a Democratic Professional Staff Member at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he advised the chairman on Middle Eastern politics and U.S. policy toward the region.  He also provided research support to staff at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff during the George W. Bush administration.

Dr. Weinberg holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was affiliated for five years with the Institute’s Security Studies Program.  His doctoral dissertation was recognized for excellence in U.S. diplomatic history and is the subject of a forthcoming book entitled Meddling for Peace.  The book provides a behind-the-scenes history of how American presidents and secretaries of state have repeatedly intervened in internal Israeli and Palestinian leadership contests such as elections. He speaks advanced Arabic and has language skills in Hebrew and Turkish.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Foundation to contribute to its research agenda on Saudi and Gulf affairs,” Dr. Weinberg said.   “So much of what happens in these countries affects our national security: in terms of energy security, our military strategy, and of course the war on terrorism.  The fact that fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens shows us that what happens in the Gulf does not stay in the Gulf.”

To arrange an interview with Dr. Weinberg, or discuss FDD’s work in any other policy area, please contact Madeleine Levey Lambert at [email protected].