Suzanne Maloney

Vice President and Director – Foreign Policy

Suzanne Maloney is the vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, where her research focuses on Iran and Persian Gulf energy. Prior to being named vice president and director, she served as the deputy director of Foreign Policy for five years. At Brookings, she is a leading voice on U.S. policy toward Iran and the broader Middle East, testifying before Congress, briefing policymakers, and engaging with government, non-profit organizations and corporations. Maloney also serves on the External Research Council for the National Intelligence Council and is a frequent commentator in national and international media.

Maloney has advised both Democratic and Republican administrations on Iran policy, including as an external advisor to senior State Department officials during the Obama administration and as a member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Policy Planning staff. Earlier in her career, she served as Middle East advisor for ExxonMobil Corporation, where she was responsible for government relations related to all corporate activities in the region.

She has authored or edited three books on Iran: “The Iranian Revolution at 40” (Brookings Institution Press, 2020), “Iran’s Political Economy since the Revolution” (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and “Iran’s Long Reach” (United States Institute of Peace, 2008). Maloney has also published numerous book chapters and articles in a variety of academic and policy journals as well as news media such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs. In 2004, she directed and authored the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on US policy toward Iran, chaired by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Maloney received a doctoral degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied in Tehran as part of the first academic exchanges between the United States and Iran since the 1979 revolution.


  • National Intelligence Council, External Research Council, member
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Iran and Gulf States
    • Energy
    • Economic reform
  • Past Positions

    • Policy Planning Staff Member, U.S. Department of State (2005-2007)
    • Project Director, Task Force on U.S.-Iran Relations, Council on Foreign Relations (2003-2004)
    • Middle East Advisor, ExxonMobil Corporation (2001-2004)
    • Olin Fellow, The Brookings Institution (2000-2001)
    • Brookings Research Fellow, The Brookings Institution (1998-1999)
  • Education

    • Ph.D., The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 2000
    • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1990

Mentions and Appearances

NPR April 21, 2024

On NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Suzanne Maloney breaks down the long history between Israel and Iran.

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NPR April 21, 2024

Suzanne Maloney spoke to NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ to discuss the long history of hostility between Iran and Israel.

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New York Times April 2, 2024

[Yet Iran still sees Gaza as] a victory for them, because it isolates Israel and puts it on the defensive in the region and the world.

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Financial Times January 24, 2024

I think what they’ve [China] calculated . . . is that this is a crisis that’s bogging the US and its partners down and it has not had a significant impact on Chinese shipping.”

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Reuters January 19, 2024

The hope is to force the United States to pull back from its posture in the region, both its direct and ongoing support to Israel’s war in Gaza, but also, of course, the long standing..."

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New York Times January 7, 2024

Iran is enriching because they can…Their goal has always been to wait out pressure and give themselves the option of a weapons program.”

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Wall Street Journal January 5, 2024

[On recent attacks across the Israeli-Lebanese border] even if it’s not the worst-case scenario — a full fledged Middle Eastern war — we have a situation that’s untenable for many of..."

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Politico November 13, 2023

So even without an expanded war, Iran is unlikely to restrain its proxies from continuing to attack U.S. interests. And we are one catastrophic miscalculation away from a much larger..."

The Washington Post November 11, 2023

“There’s something happening in terms of the reaction to this [Gaza] crisis that is unlike anything I can remember in recent years, maybe even dating back to the Gulf War and other..."

Bloomberg November 3, 2023

If there’s a new emphasis in Blinken’s comments [on Israel-Gaza], that may be due to time passing rather than a “shift in the US approach to the conflict or to the relationship with the..."

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