2011 Speakers

Khairi Abaza is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is an expert on democratic reform in the Arab world, the spread of terrorism, and the influence of the media on politics. His columns have appeared in various publications, including The New Republic, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, and The Weekly Standard. Mr. Abaza is also a commentator on several American and international television stations such as Fox, BBC, France 24, Al-Jazeera, and CBC. Full bio.

Ammar Abdulhamid is a leading Syrian human rights and pro-democracy activist and author. A Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a member of FDD’s Syria Working Group, Mr. Abdulhamid is also the Founder and Director of the Tharwa Foundation, a grassroots organization that works to break the Assad government’s information blockade by enlisting a cadre of local activists and citizen journalists to report on sociopolitical issues in Syria. Full bio.

Tony Badran is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His research focuses on Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah, their regional and international relations, and Islamist groups in the Levant. Mr. Badran is author of the blog Across the Bay. His writings have appeared in a number of notable publications, including The Los Angeles Times, Forbes.com, National Review Online, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Jerusalem Post, The Daily Star, and other academic and policy journals. Mr. Badran has held regular briefings with both U.S. and E.U. government officials. Full bio.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) represents California’s 28th district. Rep. Berman serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he was Chairman in the 110th and 111th Congresses and is currently a ranking member. He sponsored the Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act of 2011 to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon, and for other purposes. Rep. Berman is an effective legislative veteran who is considered one of the leading voices on immigration and foreign policy in the House. Rep. Berman has also been one of the strongest congressional supporters of Israel, sponsoring the Anti-Boycott Act in the House this year, which prohibits American individuals and organizations from actively boycotting Israeli goods.

Paul Berman is a writer on politics and literature whose articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic (where he is a contributing editor), The New Yorker, Slate, The Village Voice, Dissent, and various other American, European and Latin American journals. He has reported at length from Europe and Latin America. He has written or edited eight books, including, most recently, Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer and Its Aftermath, with a new preface by Richard Holbrooke for the 2007 paperback edition; Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems, edited with an introduction, published in 2006 by the American Poets Project of the Library of America; and Terror and Liberalism, a New York Times best-seller in 2003.

Nathan J. Brown is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University, specializing in comparative politics of the Middle East. He also serves as a nonresident senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dr. Brown has conducted research for the United States Institute of Peace and has served as a member of the international advisory committees for drafting the Iraqi and Palestinian constitutions. He has consulted with various United States and international agencies and frequently briefed senior officials in the United States and Europe. Mr. Brown is the author of six books, including Participation, not Domination: Islamist Political Parties and Semiauthoritarian Politics in the Arab World and Palestinian Politics after the Oslo Accords and he has appeared in a number of notable publications including the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Cagaptay has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Jane's Defense Weekly, and is a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN-Turk, and al-Hurra.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), a fifteen year veteran of the House of Representatives, serves Ohio’s first district. Rep. Chabot is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and in 2011 was named the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. Congressman Chabot has been a leader in efforts combat efforts to isolate and delegitimize Israel at the United Nations. Rep. Chabot is sponsoring legislation to leverage U.S. contributions to the United Nations to persuade international bodies to refuse to accept the membership of an independent Palestinian state outside of a negotiated peace process.

Catherine Dale is a Specialist in International Security at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) where she provides analytical support to members and staff to help frame critical national security debates. Dr. Dale is the lead CRS Expert on strategy and military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and she also spearheads CRS's analytical focus on national security reform. She previously served in Iraq as the Political Advisor to the Commanding General of U.S. Army V Corps, and continued as POLAD for the Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force-7. Dr. Dale also served as the Special Assistant to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) serves Florida’s 19th district. He is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a lifelong activist in the pro-Israel community. Rep. Deutch is an established leader on Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program. During the 112th Congress, the Iran Transparency and Accountability Act, his legislation to expose sanctionable business in Iran, was incorporated into a larger, bipartisan package of sanctions. As a Florida State Senator, Deutch passed the nation's first Iran divestment legislation and empowered Florida to divest over a billion dollars from Iran's energy sector.

Jackson Diehl is the Deputy Editorial Page Editor at The Washington Post. He is an editorial writer specializing in foreign affairs and writes a biweekly column, which often examines the Arab Spring and serves as a leading voice for a strong U.S. stance on human rights and democracy in the Middle East. Mr. Diehl has been at The Washington Post since 1978, where he has accrued a decade of experience at the paper’s bureaus in Buenos Aires, Warsaw and Jerusalem. Mr. Diehl has received numerous awards for reporting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 2011.

Ambassador Gary Doer is the Ambassador of Canada to the United States. He assumed his current responsibilities as Canada’s 23rd representative to the U.S. in 2009. Prior to taking up his current position in Washington, Amb. Doer served as Premier of Manitoba for 10 years. During that time, he worked extensively with U.S. governors to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change, and renewable energy.

Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. His policy work focuses on Iran and Syria, sanctions, and on the use of technology to encourage democratic change. Mr. Dubowitz is head of FDD's Iran Energy Project, which provides research and analysis on Iran energy sanctions and tracks the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran's energy sector. He directs FDD's Iran Human Rights Project which provides research on Iranian human rights abuses and on sanctions designed to hold accountable Iranian officials and international companies supporting these abuses. Mr. Dubowitz co-leads FDD's work on Syria sanctions against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and is a founding member of the FDD Syria Working Group. Full bio.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), first elected to Congress in 1988, represents New York’s 17th Congressional District. Rep. Engel serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and chairs the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus. He was the author of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 under which President Obama recently imposed additional sanctions due to the Assad regime's violence against its people. In 2008, Rep. Engel was the lead Democratic sponsor of a resolution condemning the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas. He has also worked to achieve official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and is at the forefront of Congressional efforts to oppose unilateral Palestinian statehood initiatives at the United Nations.

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former Iran analyst at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. He focuses on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and intelligence. Mr. Gerecht is the author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East, Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran, and The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy. He is a contributing editor for The Weekly Standard and a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, as well as a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications. Full bio.

Roya Hakakian is a former associate producer at CBS’s 60 Minutes and a recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction. She is the author of the bestelling book Assassins of the Turquoise Palace, two books of poetry in Persian and the acclaimed memoir Journey from the Land of No. Her opinions and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Ms. Hakakian is also the founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

John Hannah is a senior fellow at FDD and has almost two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy. From 2001-2009, he served as one of Vice President Dick Cheney's most trusted aides on national security issues. During the first term of President George W. Bush, he was the Vice President's deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism. In President Bush's second term, Mr. Hannah was elevated to the role of Vice President Cheney's national security advisor, where he served as the Vice President's top advisor on the full panoply of international issues from the Middle East to North Korea to Russia. In his previous government service, Mr. Hannah worked as a senior advisor on the staff of Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the administration of President Bill Clinton, and as a senior member of Secretary of State James A. Baker's Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. Full bio.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is also the Senior Editor of FDD’s The Long War Journal. Mr. Joscelyn is a nationally-recognized expert on how al Qaeda and its affiliates operate around the world and is a sought after source by Congress and the media. He is a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard and its online publications, The Daily Standard and Worldwide Standard. He is the author of Iran’s Proxy War Against America and his work has also been published by National Review Online, the New York Post, and a variety of other publications. Full bio.

Brian Katulis is a Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress, where his work focuses on U.S. national security policy in the Middle East and South Asia. Mr. Katulis has served as a consultant to numerous U.S. government agencies, private corporations, and nongovernmental organizations on projects in more than two dozen countries, including Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, and Colombia. He is co-author of The Prosperity Agenda, a book on U.S. national security.

Ambassador John Limbert is a professor of international affairs at the U.S. Naval Academy. He was previously the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran in the State Department. Amb. Limbert served for 33 years in the Foreign Service, retiring with the rank of Minister-Counselor. While there Amb. Limbert was President of the American Foreign Service Association and Amb. to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Before that he was Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the U.S. State Department. Amb. Limbert holds the Department of State's highest award - the Distinguished Service Award - and other department awards, including the Award for Valor, which he received after fourteen months as a hostage in Iran.

David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Before joining The Washington Institute, Mr. Makovsky was a journalist based in Israel for many years covering the peace process. He is the former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, was diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz, and served for eleven years as the U.S. News and World Report Jerusalem correspondent. His many publications include Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government's Road to the Oslo Accord and Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East.

Clifford May is President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. Mr. May spent nearly a decade with The New York Times as a reporter in both New York and Washington, an editor of The New York Times Sunday Magazine and as a foreign correspondent. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs including CNN and MSNBC, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues. He writes a weekly column that is nationally distributed by Scripps Howard News Service and is a regular contributor to National Review Online, The American Spectator and other publications. Full bio.

Robert “Bud” McFarlane, a member of FDD’s Leadership Council, served as President Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor from 1983-1985. After leaving the Reagan White House, Mr. McFarlane founded his own energy development company, Global Energy Investors LLC, and in 2000, he served as founding Chairman of Energy and Communications Solutions. Currently, McFarlane serves as Chairman and CEO of McFarlane Associates Inc., developing energy projects in Russia, Africa and the Middle East, as well working with non-profit organizations to develop methods and projects to utilize alternative forms of energy and reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. Full bio.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs as well as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development. After 9/11, Sen. Menendez earned national recognition for his leadership in reforming the country's intelligence, security, and public health systems and for fighting to establish an independent commission to investigate the terrorist attacks on our country. Most recently, he co-authored with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) an amendment to sanction the Central Bank of Iran, which the Senate passed unanimously.

Lt. Col. John Nagl is the President of the Center for a New American Security. He is also a member of the Defense Policy Board, a Visiting Professor in the War Studies Department at Kings College of London, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Dr. Nagl is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam and was on the writing team that produced the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. His writings have also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Parameters, Military Review, Joint Force Quarterly, Armed Forces Journal, The Washington Quarterly, and Democracy, among others. He was profiled in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Magazine. Dr. Nagl is a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy who served as an armor officer in the U.S. Army for 20 years. He led a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and was an operations officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the Combat Action Badge and the Bronze Star medal.

Emanuele Ottolenghi is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has done extensive research exposing the connections between Iran’s energy companies and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Dr. Ottolenghi has advised several foreign ministries in Europe, and testified before the Canadian and European parliaments. He recently published The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and is author of Iran: The Looming Crisis – Can the West Live with Iran’s Nuclear Threat? Dr. Ottolenghi has published widely in the international media, including The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Foreign Affairs, Commentary, National Review Online, Middle East Quarterly, and The Guardian. He has a column in the British monthly, Standpoint Magazine. Previously, Dr. Ottolenghi headed the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, where he resides. He earned his Ph.D. in political theory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Full bio.

Ambassador Ron Prosor is Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. With over two decades of experience in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Prosor served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2007-2011, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2004-2007, Chief of Staff to the Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom from 2003 to 2004, and Senior Deputy Director General of the Ministry in 2004. As an officer in the Artillery Division of the IDF, Mr. Prosor attained the rank of Major and is a graduate of the IDF Battalion Commanders.

Stephen Rademaker is a principal at the Podesta Group. He has a wide-range of experience working on national security issues in the White House, the State Department, and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Mr. Rademaker had lead responsibility, as a House staffer, for drafting the legislation that created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Rademaker served as an Assistant Secretary of State from 2002 through 2006, heading three bureaus of the State Department. He directed the Proliferation Security Initiative, as well as nonproliferation policy toward Iran and North Korea, and led strategic dialogues with Russia, China, India and Pakistan. In 2007, Mr. Rademaker served as Senior Counsel and Policy Director for National Security Affairs for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). Previously, Mr. Rademaker served as General Counsel of the Peace Corps, Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel, and as Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Editor of FDD’s The Long War Journal. He is the President of Public Multimedia Inc, a nonprofit media organization with a mission to provide original and accurate reporting and analysis of the Long War. Mr. Roggio embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army in Iraq in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. His articles have been published in The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The New York Post, The Toronto Times, and Die Weltwoche. He presents regularly at the US Air Force’s Contemporary Counterinsurgency Warfare School at Hulbert Field on the media and embedded reporting. Full bio.

Josh Rogin is a staff writer for Foreign Policy Magazine, covering national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. Previously, Mr. Rogin covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, Mr. Rogin covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution. Mr. Rogin’s reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets.

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer is Vice President of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the US Department of the Treasury and for several other US-based think tanks. Dr. Schanzer recently testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee on US aid to the Palestinian Authority. Last year he published a monograph with FDD’s executive director Mark Dubowitz titled Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media. Using proprietary technology, the study surveyed thousands of Arabic language websites to reveal the trends, thoughts, and perceptions of Palestinians online, with a focus on those that could impact current US policies. In 2008, Dr. Schanzer published Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine, the only book on the market that analyzes the internecine conflict between the two most powerful Palestinian factions. Full bio.

Dr. John R. Schindler is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He also serves as Chairman of the NATO Partnership for Peace Consortium's Countering Terrorism Working Group, and a Senior Fellow at Boston University's International History Institute. Prior to joining the NWC faculty Dr. Schindler served for nearly a decade with the National Security Agency as an expert in counterespionage and counterterrorism, with operational experience in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. A former FDD Academic Fellow, he has published widely on intelligence and terrorism, and is the author of Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad and co-author of The Terrorist Perspectives Project: Strategic and Operational Views of Al-Qa'ida.

Scott Shane is a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where he covers national security, intelligence, and terrorism-related topics. Before working for The New York Times, Mr. Shane was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, where he was the Sun’s Moscow correspondent from 1988 to 1991. Mr. Shane is the author of Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union.

Lee Smith is a Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed book, The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations. He contributes commentary to The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate.com, the Boston Globe, Wired, and The Weekly Standard, where he is a senior editor. Mr. Smith also writes a regular column for Tablet Magazine called, "Agents of Influence." He has been a guest on radio and television, including Fox News and National Public Radio. Mr. Smith has worked at a number of journals, magazines, and publishers including the Hudson Review, the Ecco-Press, Atheneum, Grand Street, GQ Magazine, and Talk Magazine. Full bio.

Andrew Tabler is a Next Generation fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he focuses on how the United States can engage with Syria in a way that best advances U.S. interests. The co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Syria Today, Syria's first private-sector English-language magazine, Mr. Tabler achieved unparalleled access to Bashar al-Asad's Syria. Over 14 years of living in the Middle East, Mr. Tabler accrued valuable experience in the region. Mr. Tabler has published widely, including in The New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, and Foreign Policy. He is the author of In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria.

Puneet Talwar is the Senior Director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq at the White House National Security Council. He is responsible for overseeing U.S. policy in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman. He works closely with his counterparts in foreign governments and throughout the federal government. He advises President Obama, Vice President Biden, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, and Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan. A foreign policy veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Talwar previously served as the chief Middle East advisor to Vice President Biden during his tenure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As a chief interlocutor with top government officials throughout the Middle East, Mr. Talwar played a prominent role in the Iraq War debate and the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Senate.

R. James Woolsey is Chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former Director of Central Intelligence. He is also Chair of Woolsey Partners LLC and a Venture Partner with Lux Capital Management. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Amb. Woolsey previously served in the U.S. government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations. Full bio.