Mokhtar Awad is a research fellow in the Program on Extremism at The George Washington University. He specializes in Islamist and Salafist groups in the Middle East region and regional politics, with a special focus on emerging violent extremist organizations and their ideas. Prior to joining the Program on Extremism, Mr. Awad worked as a research associate at the Center for American Progress and as a junior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His writings have appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, CTC Sentinel, and Hudson’s Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. He regularly provides commentary to news networks including Al-Hurra, Al-Arabiya, and Al-Jazeera. Print media quotations have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, among others. Mr. Awad has provided expert testimony to the U.S. Congress and UK Parliament.
Robert Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense (2006-2011). On Secretary Gates’ last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dr. Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, the White House, serving four presidents of both political parties. Dr. Gates served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.
Tom Gjelten covers issues of religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, a beat that encompasses such areas as the changing religious landscape in America, the formation of personal identity, the role of religion in politics, and social and cultural conflict arising from religious differences. His reporting draws on his many years covering national and international news from posts in Washington and around the world. In 1986, Mr. Gjelten became one of NPR‘s pioneer foreign correspondents, posted first in Latin America and then in Central Europe. He covered the wars in Central America, social and political strife in South America, the first Gulf War, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the transitions to democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. After returning from his overseas assignments, Mr. Gjelten covered U.S. diplomacy and military affairs, first from the State Department and then from the Pentagon. He was reporting live from the Pentagon at the moment it was hit on September 11, 2001, and he was NPR‘s lead Pentagon reporter during the early war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq.
John Hannah is Senior Counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he brings two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy. During the first term of President George W. Bush, he was Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism. In President Bush’s second term, Mr. Hannah was elevated to the role of the vice president’s national security advisor. In his previous government service, Mr. Hannah worked as a senior advisor to Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the Bill Clinton administration and as a senior member of Secretary of State James Baker’s Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Outside of government, Mr. Hannah has served as deputy director and senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has also practiced law, specializing in international dispute resolution.
Amb. Husain Haqqani is senior fellow and director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute. Amb. Haqqani served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2011 and is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. His distinguished career in government includes serving as an advisor to four Pakistani Prime ministers. He also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka in 1992-93. Considered an expert on radical Islamist movements, Amb. Haqqani, along with Hillel Fradkin and Eric Brown, is co-editor of Hudson’s signature journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. Amb. Haqqani was formerly Director of the Center of International Relations, and a Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University. His specializations include: Diplomacy, Muslim Political Movements, International Journalism, Intercultural Relations, South Asia, Central Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle-East, and U.S.-Pakistan Relations.
Jenna Lee currently serves as a New York-based anchor on Fox News Channel’s (FNC) Happening Now, alongside Jon Scott. Ms. Lee joined the network in 2007 as a reporter for the Fox Business Network (FBN) and transitioned to FNC in 2010. At FNC, she has provided live coverage of the violent protests in Cairo, Egypt following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi, and has contributed to coverage of major stories, including the Boston Marathon bombing and the death of Osama bin Laden. During her tenure at FBN, Ms. Lee co-hosted both Fox Business Morning and FoxBusiness.com Live Morning Edition. Additionally, she served as anchor for the FBN simulcast of Imus in the Morning while also providing business news updates throughout the day for both FBN and FNC.
Hon. Mary Beth Long is co-founder and principal of Global Alliance Advisors and founder of M B Long & Associates, PLLC, an international legal and advisory firm. She is also currently a nonresident senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. From 2007-2009, Ms. Long served as the first woman confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as Chair of NATO’s High Level Group, responsible for NATO’s nuclear policy. In her defense department roles, she also acted as Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense on the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, Asia, and Southeast Asia; and was the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter Narcoterrorism with a budget of over $1 billion. To those credentials, she adds more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency operational experience (1986–99) on terrorism and other security issues.
Michael Makovsky is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). A U.S. national security expert, he has worked extensively on Iran’s nuclear program, the Middle East, and the intersection of international energy markets and politics with U.S. national security. In 2006-2013, Dr. Makovsky was the Foreign Policy Director for the Bipartisan Policy Center. In 2002-6, he served as special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Dr. Makovsky worked as a senior energy market analyst for various investment firms. He is author of Churchill’s Promised Land (Yale University Press), a diplomatic-intellectual history of Winston Churchill’s complex relationship with Zionism. Makovsky has a Ph.D. in diplomatic history from Harvard University, an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School, and a B.A. in history from the University of Chicago.
Clifford D. May is the Founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In August 2016, he was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. A veteran foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories around the world, including from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Northern Ireland, Nigeria, Mexico and Russia.
U.S. Representative Ed Royce serves California’s 39th Congressional District. For the 115th Congress, Rep. Royce serves as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a position he has held since January 2013. He is one of our nation’s premier representatives to foreign governments around the world, and is a strong advocate of a foreign policy that keeps the American homeland safe. Immediately prior to becoming Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Royce served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, he sits on two Subcommittees: Housing and Insurance, and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
Jonathan Schanzer is Senior Vice President at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community. Previously, Dr. Schanzer worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers. A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media.
Jake Sullivan is a Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the Senior Policy Adviser on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Previously, he served as deputy policy director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and a member of the debate preparation team for Barack Obama’s general election campaign. Mr. Sullivan also previously served as a senior policy adviser and chief counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar from his home state of Minnesota, worked as an associate for Faegre & Benson LLP, and taught at the University of St. Thomas Law School. He clerked for Judge Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Samuel Tadros is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. At Hudson, he is researching the rise of Islamist movements in the Middle East and its implications on religious freedom and regional politics. Prior to joining Hudson in 2011, Mr. Tadros was a Senior Partner at the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, an organization that aims to spread the ideas of classical liberalism in Egypt. Mr. Tadros has previously interned at the American Enterprise Institute, where he worked on the Muslim Brotherhood and worked as a consultant for the Hudson Institute on Moderate Islamic Thinkers, and most recently the Heritage Foundation on Religious Freedom in Egypt. In 2007 he was chosen by the State Department in its first Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.
Eric Trager, the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at The Washington Institute, is an expert on Egyptian politics and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He was in Egypt during the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolts and returns frequently to conduct firsthand interviews with leaders in Egypt’s government, military, political parties, media, and civil society. His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, and the New Republic. Mr. Trager is the author of Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days (Georgetown University Press, 2016) which chronicles the precipitous rise to power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, culminating in the election of President Mohamed Morsi in 2012, and its sudden demise just a year later. The book also assesses the current state of Egyptian politics and the prospects for a reemergence of the Brotherhood.
General Charles F. Wald is the former Deputy Commander of United States European Command, responsible for all U.S. forces operating across 91 countries in Europe, Africa, Russia, parts of Asia and the Middle East, and most of the Atlantic Ocean. He also served as Commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Chief of the United States Air Force Combat Terrorism Center, support group commander, operations group commander, and special assistant to the Chief of Staff for National Defense Review. He was also the Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at Headquarters United States Air Force, and served on the Joint Staff as the Vice Director for Strategic Plans and Policy. Prior to retiring as a command pilot, Gen. Wald logged more than 3,600 flying hours, including more than 430 combat hours over Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq and Bosnia. He is currently Distinguished Fellow at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.
Dr. David Andrew Weinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he covers the six Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman). His research in this area focuses particularly on energy, terrorist finance, regional security, and human rights. A large part of his research also pertains to the Gulf states’ foreign policies toward such flashpoints as Syria and Iraq. Dr. Weinberg previously 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. Before coming to FDD, Dr. Weinberg was a Visiting Fellow at UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development.
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