AUGUST 1, 2016

Washington D.C. and Doha –Tarik Yousef, a scholar who specializes in the political economy of policy reform in the Middle East, has been appointed director of the Brookings Doha Center, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. He will also serve as a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

“Under Tarik’s capable leadership, I am confident that the Brookings Doha Center will continue to serve as a hub of independent scholarship and innovative thought on the most urgent challenges currently confronting policy makers and citizens of the Middle East and North Africa,” said Talbott.

Over a distinguished career, Yousef has held numerous prominent positions in leading international organizations and academic institutions. From 2006-2010, he held the positions of founding dean of the Dubai School of Government and nonresident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Yousef co-founded the Middle East Youth Initiative at the Brookings Institution in 2007, where he served as a nonresident senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program. In 2011, he was appointed the chief executive officer of Silatech, a Qatar-based initiative aimed at creating jobs and economic opportunities for Arab youths, in which capacity he served until March 2015.

“We are fortunate to have a new director with the depth of knowledge and expertise that Tarik possesses,” said Martin Indyk, executive vice president of the Brookings Institution. “He will be a great asset to Brookings, at a time of ongoing upheaval in the Middle East.  Tarik will provide experienced leadership to the Doha Center as it continues the Brookings tradition of generating independent, in-depth research and producing quality public policy programs in the Middle East.”

After beginning his career as an International Monetary Fund economist in 1997, Yousef joined the faculty of Georgetown University in 1999, where he held a position as an associate professor of economics in the School of Foreign Service and served as the Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah Chair of Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Yousef worked on the Middle East and North Africa Region while at the World Bank, and the Millennium Project at the U.N. Additionally, he served as the chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arab World; nonresident senior fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut; and research fellow at the Economic Research Forum.

He has contributed more than 50 articles and chapters, and co-edited several volumes and reports including: Generation in Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East (Brookings, 2009); After the Spring: Economic Transition in the Arab World (Oxford University Press, 2012); Young Generation Awakening: Economics, Society, and Policy on the Eve of the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2016); and the forthcoming volume, Public Sector Reform in the Middle East and North Africa: The Lessons of Experience (World Bank, 2017).

Yousef received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and his B.S. in economics from the University of Oregon.


Based in Qatar, the Brookings Doha Center is an overseas center of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., that advances high-quality, independent policy analysis and research on the Middle East. The Center maintains a reputation for policy impact and cutting-edge, field-oriented research on socioeconomic and geopolitical issues facing the broader Middle East, including relations with the United States.

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.