Biography

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer is senior vice president for research at FDD, where he oversees the work of the organization’s experts and scholars. He is also on the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, a project on the use of financial and economic power as a tool of statecraft.

Jonathan previously 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. He has held previous think tank research positions at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Middle East Forum.

Jonathan has written hundreds of articles on the Middle East, along with more than a dozen monographs and chapters for edited volumes. His three books have made unique contributions to the field. State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State (Palgrave Macmillan 2013) argues the main roadblock to Palestinian statehood is the Palestinian Authority’s political dysfunction and mismanagement. Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave Macmillan 2008) is still the only book on the market that analyzes the ongoing Palestinian civil war. Al-Qaeda’s Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror (Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2004) was the first to explore the al-Qaeda franchises of the Middle East. 

Jonathan testifies often before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media. He has appeared on American television channels such as Fox News and CNN, and Arabic language television channels such as Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera.

A sought-after public speaker, Jonathan has traveled widely throughout the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

Jonathan has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his PhD from King’s College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew.

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