About the center

The Center for Middle East Policy (CMEP) is dedicated to the formulation of more effective and sustainable U.S. policy toward the Middle East. It conducts research to illuminate the issues that shape, or should shape, U.S. policy toward the region and the major trends affecting the lives of the people who live there. Established in 2002, CMEP furthers its mission through research, convening, publications, and private exchanges. Its scholars reflect varying points of view and work to foster a productive, nuanced, and informed debate.

The flagship project of CMEP is the Project on the Sources of Middle East Instability. This project covers  a broad range of issues affecting millions of people across the region, including sources of conflict, the effects of climate change, migration and refugees, counterterrorism, trends in political Islam, and democracy promotion in the region. CMEP also devotes special attention to the domestic dynamics and politics of countries of the region, including, currently, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Tunisia. Through the Project on Imagining Israel’s Future, the domestic and foreign dynamics of Israel are a major area of focus as well.

Convening leaders and leading dialogue

Since its founding in 2002, CMEP has built premier platforms for high-level dialogue on tough policy issues. We engage officials and community leaders and educate the media and the wider public. Our signature events include major conferences, public events, private roundtables, and track-two dialogues. Our reports, articles, and posts make dialogue among policy experts, practitioners, and academics accessible to the media and public, garnering tens of thousands of readers for our timely research.

CMEP also helps foster the next generation of policymakers focused on this region through the Middle East Policy Future Leaders Symposium, which gathers a cohort of rising policy professionals with leading experts to discuss the pressing challenges which will define U.S. policy toward the greater Middle East in the coming decades.

CMEP is part of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and draws extensively upon the expertise of scholars from other centers in the program with expertise relevant to the greater Middle East. It is committed to the Brookings Institution’s core values: quality, independence, and impact.