Center for Middle East Policy

About the Center for Middle East Policy

The Center for Middle East Policy
Charting the path to a Middle East at peace with itself and the world

Founded in 2002, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings brings together the most experienced policy minds working on the region, and provides policymakers and the public with objective, in-depth and timely research and analysis. Our mission is to chart the path—political, economic and social—to a Middle East at peace with itself and the world.

Current research in the Center includes:

  • Prospects for a Two-State Reality
  • U.S. Strategy in a Changing Middle East 
  • Politics and Security in the Persian Gulf
  • The Future of Counterterrorism
  • U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
  • Natural Resources and Conflict in the Middle East

The Center was established on May 13, 2002 with an inaugural address by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Center is part of the Foreign Policy Studies Program at Brookings and upholds the Brookings values of Quality, Independence and Impact. The Center is also home to the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, which convenes a major international conference and a range of activities each year to foster frank dialogue and build positive partnerships among U.S. and Muslim communities around the world. The Center also oversees the Brookings Doha Center in Doha, Qatar—home to three permanent scholars, visiting fellows and a full range of policy-relevant conferences and meetings.


The Center for Middle East Policy convenes meetings and conferences throughout the year, bringing together leading officials, scholars, business executives, academics and journalists. Signature Center events include:

  • The Saban Forum: An intimate, high-level strategic dialogue on common challenges facing the United States and Israel.
  • The U.S.-Islamic World Forum: A premier gathering of U.S. and Muslim-world leaders from government, business and civil society, to advance constructive partnerships and held annually in Doha or Washington.
  • Policy Forums: Expert-level discussions with the Washington policy community, opinion leaders and other key constituencies to present new research or dialogue with policymakers and visitors from the region.
  • Statesman’s Forum and other Public Events: High-profile speakers and expert Brookings panels for a public audience, including webcasting and coverage by American and Middle Eastern media.

The Center for Middle East Policy communicates its analysis and policy recommendations through a variety of platforms, in print and online, to serve as a resource for policymakers, media and the public. Signature Center publications include:

  • Analysis Papers: In-depth studies authored by Center scholars as well as outside experts, published in our own monograph series. 
  • Middle East Memos: Timely analysis of critical issues facing the region, offering targeted insights and recommendations for policymakers.
  • Markaz: A vibrant blog focusing on politics in, and policy toward, the Middle East, written by Brookings experts and edited by Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney.


Our team of scholars offers decades of collective experience in government and in the region. Within the Center for Middle East Policy, a core group of experts conduct original research, bringing keen insight and fresh perspectives to bear on the critical challenges facing the Middle East today and on the choices facing American and regional decision makers. Their work is supplemented by nonresident scholars across the Middle East and around the world. The Center also maintains relationships with its nearly two dozen former visiting fellows in the Middle East, from Morocco to Israel to Iran.

Center Scholars:
Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Middle East Policy
Daniel Byman, Senior Fellow and Director of Research
Michael Doran, Senior Fellow
Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow
Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow
Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow
Khaled Elgindy, Fellow
Natan Sachs, Fellow
William McCants, Fellow and Director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
Shadi Hamid, Fellow, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
Salman Shaikh, Fellow and Director of the Brookings Doha Center
Sultan Barakat, Senior Fellow and Research Director, Brookings Doha Center
Luay al-Khatib, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Doha Center

Nonresident Fellows:
Geneive Abdo, Washington, DC
Dan Arbell, Washington, DC and Tel Aviv, Israel
Omar Ashour, Exeter, UK
J.M. Berger, Cambridge, MA
Stephen R. Grand, Washington, DC
H.A. Hellyer, Cairo, Egypt
Gregory Gause, Burlington, VT
Itamar Rabinovich, Distinguished Nonresident Fellow, Tel Aviv, Israel
Alisa Rubin Peled, Tel Aviv, Israel
Cynthia Schneider, Washington, DC
Shibley Telhami, College Park, MD