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Robert McKenzie, Visiting Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World

Robert L. McKenzie

Former Brookings Expert

Robert L. McKenzie was a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. McKenzie is an expert in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with 15 years of applied research and work experience for the U.S. government, private sector, and academia.

An expert in displaced persons, refugee resettlement, and diaspora-related issues, McKenzie has extensive experience working with Muslim communities in the United States. He also focuses on policy options for MENA societies in transition, with special reference to understanding and mitigating the effects of large-scale forced migration and protracted displacement. McKenzie has been an adjunct lecturer at Wayne State University in Detroit, a researcher at the American University in Cairo, and a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford. His latest book project, expected in May 2017, explores humanitarian assistance to protracted refugee situations in the MENA region.

In his most recent government position, McKenzie served as senior advisor for countering violent extremism (CVE) at the U.S. Department of State, where he developed global initiatives on the topics of education and youth engagement, sports and cultural diplomacy, and supporting victims of terrorism. Prior to that position, McKenzie was project director for the establishment and launch of the Hedayah Center in Abu Dhabi, an independent, multilateral center devoted to training, dialogue, collaboration, and research on CVE. While at the Hedayah Center, McKenzie had oversight of an eight million dollar budget, project controls, and staffing; drafted the Center’s strategy and programmatic initiatives; and conducted stakeholder engagement with senior officials in 15 capitals across the MENA region and Europe.

McKenzie has written for, appeared with, or been cited by: The Baltimore Sun; Bloomberg View; The Brookings Cafeteria Podcast; CNN; The Detroit Free Press; Foreign Policy in Focus; The Guardian; The New York Times; Share Radio; The Washington Post; and The Washington Times.

McKenzie was born and raised in the Greater Detroit area. He earned a bachelor's in economics from Michigan State University, a master's in security studies and a graduate certificate in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a doctorate in anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Robert L. McKenzie was a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. McKenzie is an expert in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with 15 years of applied research and work experience for the U.S. government, private sector, and academia.

An expert in displaced persons, refugee resettlement, and diaspora-related issues, McKenzie has extensive experience working with Muslim communities in the United States. He also focuses on policy options for MENA societies in transition, with special reference to understanding and mitigating the effects of large-scale forced migration and protracted displacement. McKenzie has been an adjunct lecturer at Wayne State University in Detroit, a researcher at the American University in Cairo, and a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford. His latest book project, expected in May 2017, explores humanitarian assistance to protracted refugee situations in the MENA region.

In his most recent government position, McKenzie served as senior advisor for countering violent extremism (CVE) at the U.S. Department of State, where he developed global initiatives on the topics of education and youth engagement, sports and cultural diplomacy, and supporting victims of terrorism. Prior to that position, McKenzie was project director for the establishment and launch of the Hedayah Center in Abu Dhabi, an independent, multilateral center devoted to training, dialogue, collaboration, and research on CVE. While at the Hedayah Center, McKenzie had oversight of an eight million dollar budget, project controls, and staffing; drafted the Center’s strategy and programmatic initiatives; and conducted stakeholder engagement with senior officials in 15 capitals across the MENA region and Europe.

McKenzie has written for, appeared with, or been cited by: The Baltimore Sun; Bloomberg View; The Brookings Cafeteria Podcast; CNN; The Detroit Free Press; Foreign Policy in Focus; The Guardian; The New York Times; Share Radio; The Washington Post; and The Washington Times.

McKenzie was born and raised in the Greater Detroit area. He earned a bachelor’s in economics from Michigan State University, a master’s in security studies and a graduate certificate in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a doctorate in anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

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