News Release

Tamara Cofman Wittes, Expert on Middle East and Conflict Resolution, Joins Saban Center at Brookings

January 9, 2004

The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution has appointed Tamara Cofman Wittes, an expert on Middle East reform and conflict resolution, as a research fellow.

While at the Saban Center, Wittes will focus on U.S. policy toward democratization in the Arab world and the challenge of regional economic and political reform.

“The events of the past few years have highlighted the importance of reform in the Arab world—not just as a noble goal, but as a key element of our national security,” said Ambassador Martin Indyk, director of the Saban Center. “Tamara Wittes is one of the best and brightest young Middle East scholars in America today and we are proud to have her join the Saban Center at Brookings to bring her expertise to bear on this critical area.”

Before joining the Saban Center at Brookings, Wittes was a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace, conducting and supervising research on the Arab-Israeli peace process, regional security, and U.S. relations with the Muslim world. Before that, she was director of programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington. She has also served as an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University and as a consultant for the RAND Corporation.

Wittes has written extensively on the conflict in the Middle East, and, more broadly, on conflict resolution. Her articles have appeared in Political Science Quarterly, the Weekly Standard, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and National Security Studies Quarterly, among others. Her recent work has explored U.S. democracy aid to the Middle East, the role of culture in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, and the role of ethnic diasporas in conflict resolution. She has written and taught on a wide variety of related issues, including Middle East politics, international security, coercive diplomacy, complex humanitarian crises, international law, and U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Wittes was one of the first recipients of the Rabin-Peres Peace Award, established by President Bill Clinton in 1997. She holds a B.A. in Judaic and Near Eastern Studies from Oberlin College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Government from Georgetown University.

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