Political Islam and the Obama Administration: Why and How to Engage it?
Series: Dubai Initiative Seminar
Open to the Public - Fainsod Room, Littauer-324
April 6, 2009
Related Project: Dubai Initiative
Before retiring from the Central Intelligence Agency in 2006 after 15 years of service, Dr. Nakhleh was a Senior Intelligence Service Officer (SIS-3) and Director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program in the Directorate of Intelligence at the CIA. Before that he was Chief of the Regional Analysis Unit in the Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis where he also served as Senior Analyst and Scholar in Residence since September 1993. Dr. Nakhleh was a founding member of the Senior Analytic Service and chaired the first SAS Council. He was awarded several senior intelligence commendation medals, including the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal (2006), the Director’s Medal (2004), the William Langer Award (2004), and the Intelligence Commendation Medal (1997). His research has focused on political Islam and Islamic radicalism in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world and on political and educational reform, regime stability, and governance in the greater Middle East. Dr. Nakhleh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an independent consultant for the US Government and the Sandia National Labs. Dr. Nakhleh is fluent in Arabic, moderately fluent in Hebrew, and speaks Farsi at the beginning level.
Before joining CIA in 1993, Dr. Nakhleh was the John L. Morrison Professor of International Studies and a Department Chair at Mount St. Mary’s University (MD), where he taught for 26 years. He holds a Ph.D. from the American University, Washington, DC (International Relations, 1968), an M.A. from Georgetown University (Political Science, 1996), and a B.A. from Saint John’s University, Minnesota (Political Science, 1963). Dr. Nakhleh was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow (Bahrain, 1972-73 and Jerusalem, summer 1987), a visiting professor at Bir Zeit University (summer 1977), a Woodrow Wilson Guest Scholar (summer 1979), and a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow (1979-80).
Dr. Nakhleh has traveled extensively in the Middle East and the Muslim world, lectured widely both in the United States and overseas, and written and contributed to many books and journals on Middle East politics, state formation, US policy in the region, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. His books include: A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America’s Relations with the Muslim World (Princeton University Press, January 2009); Bahrain: Political Development in a Modernizing Society (1976 – translated into Arabic and published in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2006); The Gulf Cooperation Council: Policies, Problems, and Prospects (1986); The Persian Gulf and American Policy (1982); A Palestinian Agenda for the West Bank and Gaza (1980); The West Bank and Gaza: Toward the Making of a Palestinian State (1979); The United States and Saudi Arabia: A Policy Analysis (1975); and Arab-American Relations in the Persian Gulf (1975). Dr. Nakhleh has also written over 30 scholarly journal articles, including to The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (1995). Dr. Nakhleh and his wife Ilonka Lessnau Nakhleh reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Dubai Initiative
Kennedy School of Gov't
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Cambridge, MA 02139
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs