Past Speakers 2006-2021

The Western Sahara conflict: Africa's last colony and why it matters.
Jacob Mundy.  Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies,  Colgate University.

Israel-Palestine Confederation: A vision that starts today.
Bernard Avishai. Professor, Hebrew University & Dartmouth College.
Sam Bahour. Independent political analyst & business consultant, Ramallah.

Shifting Sands: The Future of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Asaf Romirowsky.  Director, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.


Gaza’s Struggle: Between Fading Hope and Growing Resilience.
Yasser Abu-Jamei.  Director, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Palestine.
Sara Roy.  Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.
How a century of wars, invaders, dictators, and poverty generated  today’s dismal Arab condition.      
Rami KouriDirector, Global Engagement, American University of Beirut; Nonresident Senior         Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School. 
Can the US refashion itself as a peacemaker in the Middle East?
Trita Parsi.  Executive Vice President, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Washington DC.
Challenges and Reform Opportunities Facing Lebanon
Dr. Randa Slim, Senior Fellow and Director of Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program, Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C.
Oil, Covid and the New Middle East: Implications for US Policy 
Dr. Joshua Landis, Director, Center of Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman OK  
The Role of Religion in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Dr. Henry Munson, Department of Anthropology, University of Maine
The Hundred Years War on Palestine
Dr. Rashid Khalidi, Department of History, Columbia University
Erdogen's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East
Dr. Soner Cagaptay, Turkish Research Program, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, D.C.

Why Trump Is Not the Problem.

Andrew Bacevich.  Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History,  Boston University.

Education in the Gulf Arab States: Promises and Perils.  

Faryal Khan.  Visiting Practitioner, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Crisis in the Saudi-American Relationship?  

F. Gregory Gause, III.  Head, International Affairs Department, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.


Iran-US Relations -- Is Transforming Animosity into  Friendship Possible?

Seyed Hossain Mousavian.   Specialist, Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University.


An Innovative Approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Peace through Science

Allen Taylor & Kim Kronenberg,  Dr. Taylor is Professor of Nutrition, Development, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts Univerisity. 


Turkey: Where is it going?

Lenore Martin.  Professor of Political Science, Emmanuel College 


Why is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resistant to resolution  and what should be done?  

Nadim Rouhana.  Professor of International Affairs and Conflict Studies, The Fletcher School, Tufts University  


The Trump Administration and the Middle East: a Six-month Report

Robert H. Pelletreau, Jr.  

Former Asst. Secy. of State for Near Eastern Affairs and former US Ambassador to Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain

Where is Israel in Trump's Middle East

Naomi Chazan

Former member and Deputy Speaker of Knesset

Dean, School of Government and Society. Academic College of Tel Aviv

The Syrian Conflict and Refugee Crisis:Causes, Consequences, and Responses

Emily Curry, Ph.D

Research Fellow, Middle East Ctr., Northeastern University

The United States and the Gulf

Susan Ziadeh

Former US Ambassador t Qatar; Former Deputy Asst. Secy. of State, Near Eastern Affairs


God's Big Mistake

Harvey Cox

Professor (ret) of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School

Understanding Israel's Politics: Who is for What and Why

Naomi Chazan

Former member and Deputy Speaker of Knesset

Dean, School of Government and Society. Academic College of Tel Aviv

The Road from Dabiq -- The Ongoing Threat from ISIS and Al Qaeda 

Mark Hambley

Former Ambassador to Lebanon and Qatar

Lebanon and its Multiple Challenges

Randa Slim

Director, Track II Dialogues Initiative, The Middle East Institute

Saudi Arabia Faces the Future...or Tries to

Thomas Lippman

Former Middle East Bureau Chief, The Washington Post


Can the United States Manage the Middle East?  Should it try?

Stephen Walt

Belfer Professor of International Affairs, JFK School of Government, Harvard

Turkey’s evolving relationship with the US and the Middle East

Francis J Ricciardone

Vice President, The Atlantic Council; Director Rafik Hariri Ctr for the Middle East; Former Ambassador to Turkey & Egypt

Yemen: Domestic problems and outside influences

William Rugh

Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute; former ambassador to Yemen and UAE

American-Iranian Relationsips: Past, Present and Future

Barbara Slavin

Senior Fello, South Asia Ctr, Atlantic Council

The challenge of reconciliation and reform in Egypt

Emad Shahin

Visiting Prof Georgetown University; Professor of Political Science, American Univ. in Cairo

Syria, ISI, and the US response

Frederic C. Hof

Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Ctr for the Middle East; former US special advisor for transition in Syria


Israeli-Palestinian Peace: why not give up?

Dr Naomi Chazan

Former member and deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset


Public opinion in the Middle East

Dr, Shibley Telhami

Professor, University of Maryland


The future of US policy in the Persian Gulf

Dr. Gary Sick

Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University


Changing Geopolitics in the Middle East and implications for US policy

Ellen Laipson

President, Stimson Ctr, Washngton, DC


Egyptian politics: from uprising to coup and beyond

Dr. Stephen Cook

Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Easter Studies, Council on Foreign Relations


The Syrian dilemma and the Middle East

Dr. Paul Salem

Vice president Middle East Institute



Forward or backward: prospects for post-2014 Afghanistan

Paul David Fishstein

Feinstein Internation Ctr, Tufts Univ


Iran’s descent into theocratic military authoritarianism

Ali Banuazizi

Department of Political Science, Boston University


Egypt after Mubarak

William Rugh

Fletcher School, Tufts University


Human rights and security in Israel-Palestine

Neve Gordon

Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton University; Ben Gurion University, Israel


US policy in the new Middle East

William Quandt

Department of Political Science, University of Virginia


Syria’s agony and widening Sunni-Shia rift

A Richard Norton

Department of Anthropology, Boston University



Déjà vu all over again? Iraq, Iran and the Israel lobby

Stephen M. Walt

Professor, International Affairs, JFK School of Government, Harvard University


Syria’s 40 years of Assad family rule: the end of an era

Theodore Kattouf

Former ambassador to Syria and UAE.


The Arab awakening and Saudi youth

Caryle Murphy

Scholar & journalisr


Egypt: cauldron on the Nile

Mark G, Hambley

Former ambassador to Lebanon & Qatar


Syria and the quest for change in the Middle East

Neil MacFarquar

UN Bureau Chief, New York Times


Turkey’s role in the new Middle East

Mali Mufti

Professor, Political Science, Tufts University



Iran and Saudi Arabia: rivalry over the Arab Spring

Dr. Haleh Esfandiari

Director, Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson Interntaional Ctr for Scholars


Winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan

Dr. Andrew Wilder

Director, Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs, US Institute of Peace, Washington DC


Another voice for Israel: J Street and the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement

Steven Krubiner

Director of Israel and International Programs, J Street


Egypt: the revolution is incomplete

Dr. Andrea Rugh and Ambassador William Rugh

Adjunct scholars at the Middle East Institute, Washington DC


Libya as a test case of policy dilemmas for Arab governments and for the US

Ambassador David Mack

Middle East Institute


Religious dimensions of the Middle East conflict

Prof. Harvey Cox

Prof of Divinity, Harvard University



Afghanistan: a personal perspective

Joseph Gerson

American Friends Service Committee


The US in the Middle East: an American perspective

Ambassador Robert H. Pelletreau, Jr.

Former Asst. Secy. of State for Near Easter Affairs and former US Ambassador to Egypt, Tunisa and Bahrain


The US in the Middle East: an Arab perspective

Rami Khouri

Director, Issam Fares Institute, American University in Beirut; Editor, Lebanon Daily Star


Molly Williamson


The politics of petroleum

Noah Baker Merrill

Beyond the nightmare: hope, healing and lessons from an Iraqi-American aid project


Ambassador George M. Lane

US military interventions in the middle east: an historical perspective



Jerusalem ’07: A sabbatical in everybody’s holy city.

Rev. Robert Edmond and Deborah Edmond

St Andrew’s Church, Edgartown


Broken promises, broken dreams: stories of Jewish and Palestinian trauma and resilience

Dr. Alice Rothchild

Co-chair of the Boston chapter of Jewish Voiced for Peace


Syria: a nation in the crossfire

Prof. Elaine Hagopian


Human rights in the occupied territories

Josh Rubinstein

Amnesty International; Davis Ctr for Eurasian and Russian Studies, Harvard Univ



Israelis and Palestinians: human rights in the occupied territories

Prof Anat Biletzki

Prof, Tel Aviv Univ.; former Chairman of the Board, B’teslem


Come to the table: stories of non-violent peacemaking in Iraq

Sheila Provenchor

Christian Peacemaker Team in Baghdad, 2004-2006


The US and the Iran-Iraq connection

Prof Irene L Genzier

Department of Political Science, Boston University; Co-editor, Crimes of War, Iraq


The Middle East: the diplomatic dilemma

William Rugh

Former ambassador; author


Politics, culture and urbanization in the new Middle East

Professor Paul Amar

University of California, Santa Barbara