News Release

Natan Sachs to lead the Center for Middle East Policy; Thomas Wright to become director of the Center on the United States and Europe

May 10, 2017

Washington D.C. — The Brookings Institution is delighted to announce the appointments of two scholars to leadership positions within the Foreign Policy program.

Natan Sachs is appointed director of Brookings’s Center for Middle East Policy (CMEP), effective May 1. Founded in 2002, the Center’s mission is to chart the path—political, economic, and social—to a Middle East at peace with itself and the world. The Center also houses the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.

Dr. Sachs’ work focuses on Israeli foreign policy, domestic politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and U.S.-Israeli relations. His book on Israeli grand strategy and its domestic origins will be published next year. Dr. Sachs joined Brookings as a fellow in 2012, and holds a doctorate in political science from Stanford University. The outgoing director, Tamara Cofman Wittes, returns to full-time scholarship in CMEP, where she will write on U.S.-regional relations, governance and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, and a new book project on U.S. relations with autocratic allies.

Thomas Wright is appointed director of the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE), effective May 1. He succeeds Fiona Hill, who returned to government service as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian Affairs at the National Security Council. CUSE fosters high-level U.S.-European dialogue on developments in Europe and the global challenges that affect transatlantic relations.

Dr. Wright, who joined Brookings as a fellow in 2011 and holds a doctorate from Georgetown University, works on U.S. foreign policy, Donald Trump’s worldview, the future of Europe, and U.S. primacy in Asia. His book “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Power” has just been published by Yale University Press.

“Tom and Natan are both prolific, creative, and committed voices in the policy debate, and we are fortunate to see them take on these leadership roles within our program,” remarked Bruce Jones, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. “Both Europe and the Middle East, for different reasons, remain critical for global security and U.S. foreign policy, and our strong centers of scholarship on these regions will benefit from Tom’s and Natan’s intellectual guidance and skilled management.”

Jones also expressed appreciation for the instrumental roles that Tamara Cofman Wittes and Fiona Hill each played in leading their centers. Under Dr. Hill’s leadership since 2009, CUSE grew into the premier D.C.-based policy hub for the consideration and development of transatlantic strategies to cope with evolving global challenges. Under Dr. Wittes’ leadership of CMEP since 2012, the Center added a senior fellow to conduct scholarship on political Islam, organized the premier annual U.S.-Israeli strategic dialogue (The Saban Forum) and the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, and enhanced collaboration with counterparts in Washington, Israel, and the wider region.

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