News Release

Martin Indyk Named Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings

September 11, 2009

Kenneth Pollack to Be Director of Saban Center for Middle East Policy; Michael O’Hanlon to Be Foreign Policy Research Director

Martin Indyk, a senior fellow and director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, has been named vice president and director of Foreign Policy, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack will become the new director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

Indyk has been a senior fellow and the founding director of the Saban Center since 2002, and has written extensively on Middle East politics, particularly Arab-Israeli relations. He served twice as U.S. ambassador to Israel (1995-97, 2000-01); as special assistant to President Clinton for National Security Affairs; and as assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs. Prior to entering the Clinton administration, he was the founding executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy for eight years. His latest book is Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, 2009). He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Sydney University, and a doctorate in international relations from the Australian National University.

“Martin built the Saban Center from the ground up, demonstrating not only his skills as a scholar and a foreign policy expert, but superb leadership ability. He is a gifted manager who will now apply those skills to the efforts of experts across Brookings’s broad foreign policy program,” Talbott said. “Martin has an outstanding track record of accomplishments as a diplomat in one of the toughest, most important regions in the world and scholarly achievements here at Brookings. I know he will maintain the level of excellence we strive for at Brookings and safeguard our standards for quality and independence in scholarly research.”

As part of the program’s new leadership team, Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon will become director of research, responsible for overseeing the Foreign Policy research agenda. O’Hanlon is an expert on Iraq, Afghanistan and national security issues.

Pollack served as a senior fellow and director of research at the Saban Center from its inception. He has been a director for Near East and Asian affairs as well as for Persian Gulf affairs on the National Security Council staff, and he has taught at the National Defense University. He was also a Persian Gulf analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. He previously worked for the Council on Foreign Relations as its director of national security studies. He obtained a B.A. from Yale University in 1988, and went on to earn a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. He is the author of several books, including The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (Random House, 2004) and Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover from an Iraqi Civil War (Brookings, 2007). His latest book is A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (Random House, 2008).

“Ken Pollack is an extraordinary scholar who has proven to be an invaluable member of our Foreign Policy team. He has worked closely with Martin, and will bring his extensive knowledge from his work in the intelligence community and the academic world to his new position as director of the Saban Center,” said Talbott.

Indyk replaces Carlos Pascual, who was confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Mexico by the United States Senate on August 7, after serving as vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings since February of 2006.

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