2012 Speakers

Ali Alfoneh is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and focuses his research on civil-military relations in Iran and the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the Islamic Republic. Mr. Alfoneh has been a research fellow at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College and has taught political economy at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Southern Denmark.

David Albright is founder and President of the non-profit Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, D.C. He directs the project work of ISIS, heads its fundraising efforts, and chairs its board of directors. In addition, he regularly publishes and conducts scientific research. Mr. Albright has written numerous assessments on secret nuclear weapons programs throughout the world. Prior to founding ISIS, he worked as a Senior Staff Scientist at the Federation of American Scientists and as a member of the research staff of Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. In the early 1980s, Mr. Albright taught physics at George Mason University in Virginia. He has served as a consultant or contractor to the Environmental Policy Institute, the Congressional Research Service, the International Task Force on Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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.

Tony Badran is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies where he focuses on Lebanon, Syria, and Hezbollah. His research includes U.S. policy towards Lebanon and Syria; Syrian foreign policy, with a focus on its regional relations with Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon; Syria’s ties to militant non-state actors and terrorist groups; and Syria’s international relations, especially with Russia and the EU. Mr. Badran’s other research has dealt with Syria’s use of information warfare, as well as with the Syrian opposition movement. Mr. Badran’s writings have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, ForeignAffairs.com, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy.com and The Jerusalem Post, among others. Mr. Badran also publishes a weekly column on Nowlebanon.com.

Dr. Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He chairs the Hoover Task Force on National Security and Law and co-chairs the Hoover Task Force on The Virtues of a Free Society. Mr. Berkowitz co-founded and co-directs the Tikvah Program in Political Leadership at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and sits on the Policy Advisory Board at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was also co-founder and director of the Israel Program on Constitutional Government, worked as a senior foreign policy advisor to the Giuliani 2008 campaign, and served as a senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Luke Bronin is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Mr. Bronin is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to safeguard the U.S. and international financial systems from national security threats including terrorist financing, proliferation finance, money laundering and organized crime. He is closely involved in the U.S. Government's sanctions policy with respect to Iran and Syria. Before joining the Treasury Department, he was an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, hosted by the Institute for Financial Management and Research in Chennai, India. 

Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) is the Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is a leader in promoting nuclear security and combating the proliferation threat posed by terrorists. In response to this growing danger, Senator Casey created and became the co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Caucus on Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism. Committed to blocking Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, Senator Casey introduced the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act and cosponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act in order to increase pressure on Iran.

David S. Cohen is the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. As Undersecretary, Mr. Cohen leads the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting the lines of financial support to international terrorist organizations, proliferators, narcotics traffickers, and other illicit actors posing a threat to our national security. Mr. Cohen serves as a member of the Obama Administration’s national security team in developing financial strategies to combat these wide ranging threats and protect the U.S. and international financial systems from abuse.

Toby Dershowitz is Vice President for Government Relations and Strategy for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies where she engages in policy roadmapping that identifies the conceptual issues and the strategy necessary to move the dial in the policy arena. She has spent more than 25 years in Washington, focusing on policy issues related to terrorism, cyber, democracy building, energy security, and the Middle East. She co-directs several FDD projects including the Iran Human rights Project and the Project on terrorist media. She briefs and works closely with Members of Congress and their staff as well as with officials throughout the Executive Branch. Prior to her work for FDD she was Spokesperson and Director of Media Relations for a leading foreign policy organization for 14 years and director of a press association for 12 subsequent years. Her two ‘how-to’ manuals in dealing with the press have become media bibles in the advocacy community.

Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington D.C., where he leads projects on sanctions, nonproliferation, and countering electronic repression. Mark is the co-author of seven recent studies on Iran sanctions. He has testified before Congress and advised the U.S. administration and numerous foreign governments on Iran sanctions issues. Mark is the co-chair of the Project on Middle East Nonproliferation, involving FDD and principals from the Institute for Science and International Security, the Monterey Institute of International Studies' James Martin Center for Nonproliferation, Arizona State University, and National Defense University.

John Fonte is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others? a number-one rated Amazon best-seller in international law. His ideas on "lawfare" were cited in the annual New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" as among the most noteworthy of 2004.

Ambassador Robert S. Ford was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Syria in January 2011. Ambassador Ford is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, holding the rank of Minister Counselor. He most recently served with the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). He has previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Algeria (2006-2008), Political Counselor (2004-2006) and Deputy Chief of Mission (2008-2009) at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrain (2001-2004). His early overseas postings include Izmir, Cairo and Yaoundé. In Washington, he has served as the Egypt and North Africa Economic Affairs Officer. He has received numerous State Department awards, including the 2005 James Clement Dunn Award for Excellence in mid-level officers.

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.

John Hannah brings almost two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy to his work as a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Previously, Mr. Hannah served as national security advisor to Vice President Richard Cheney. Mr. Hannah has served in a range of senior policy positions in both Democratic and Republican administrations, as a senior member of Secretary of State James Baker's Policy Planning staff during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, and later as a senior advisor to Secretary of State Warren Christopher under President Bill Clinton. Mr. Hannah's articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and he blogs regularly at Foreign Policy and National Review Online.

Rafif Jouejati is the English spokeswoman for the Local Coordinating Committees in Syria, a network of activists. She is also the director of FREE-Syria, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that focuses on women's empowerment, and a member of the Day After Project, which is developing a transition plan for the country. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Times, and Democracy Now! Ms. Jouejati current resides in Washington D.C.

Brian Katulis is a Senior Fellow at the 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 previously lived and worked in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Egypt for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. 

Jonathan Kay is a Managing Editor of Canada's National Post newspaper, a weekly columnist on the newspaper's op-ed page, a daily blogger on NationalPost.com, and a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In addition, Mr. Kay is a regular contributor to Commentary magazine, the New York Post and Reader's Digest. His freelance articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Weekly Standard, Hoover Digest, the National Interest and other publications. In 2002, he was awarded Canada's National Newspaper Award for Critical Writing. In 2004, he was awarded a National Newspaper Award for Editorial Writing. His first book, The Volunteer, co-authored with Michael Ross, was published in 2007 by McClelland & Stewart. His second book, Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground, was published in May 2011 by HarperCollins.

Orde Kittrie is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a tenured Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Mr. Kittrie is particularly well known for his expertise on nonproliferation law, international law as it relates to the Middle East, and the imposition of sanctions on Iran. Mr. Kittrie has testified numerous times on nonproliferation issues and has been a guest speaker of the IAEA, NATO, U.S. Department of Defense, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Royal Military College of Canada. Professor Kittrie served for eleven years at the U.S. Department of State during which he received the Department’s Superior Honor Award and its Meritorious Honor Award. He has served as chair of the Nonproliferation, Arms Control & Disarmament Committee of the American Society of International Law and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kittrie has lectured in over a dozen universities, published op-eds in the Wall Street Journal among other publications, done on-air commentary for television and radio stations, and published scholarly articles in numerous Law journals.

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has served as the Republican Whip since 2008 and is a ranking member on the Judiciary Committee’s Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee. He recently co-signed a letter to President Obama, with Senator Lieberman (I-CT) and Senator Kirk (R-IL), concerning the Iranian regime’s oppression of opposition voices and encouraging the Administration to designate 65 individuals as violators of human rights. Senator Kyl has helped write significant provisions of the Military Commissions Act, the Patriot Act, and other anti-terrorism laws. Senator Kyl was recognized by TIME in 2010 as one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People” and as one of the 10 best senators in 2006.

Mark Landler is a White House correspondent for The New York Times. Prior to taking up this post in March 2011, he was the newspaper’s diplomatic correspondent. He has reported for The New York Times from 67 countries on six continents, from Afghanistan to Yemen. Mark was a foreign correspondent for 10 years, serving as European economic correspondent in Frankfurt, from 2002 to 2008, and as Hong Kong bureau chief, from 1998 to 2002. He won an Overseas Press Club award in 2007.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT) is Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In March, Senator Lieberman co-authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled “Iran Can't Be Allowed Nuclear 'Capability.'” Recently he co-signed a letter to President Obama, with Senator Kyl (R-AZ) and Senator Kirk (R-IL), regarding the Iranian regime’s oppression of opposition voices and encouraging the Administration to designate 65 individuals as violators of human rights. During his tenure, Senator Lieberman has been a champion of freedom and human rights.

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.

Marina Nemat was born in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. Her memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, was published in Canada by Penguin Canada in 2007, has been published in 28 other countries, and has been an international bestseller. In 2007, she received the inaugural Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament, and in 2008, she received the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy. In 2008/2009, she was an Aurea Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College, where she wrote her second book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, which was published by Penguin Canada in 2010. She also teaches memoir writing, in Farsi and in English, at the School of Continuing Studies at University of Toronto and writes book reviews for the Globe and Mail.

Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Dr. Ottolenghi is known as a leader for his work on Iran. He has advised several foreign ministries in Europe, and testified before the Canadian and European parliaments. His extensive research exposed the connections between Iran's energy companies and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the paramilitary organization responsible for the regime's political repression and international terrorism activities.

Claudia Rosett is a journalist-in-residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Her investigative reporting skills, drawn from three decades as a journalist and editor writing on international affairs, led her to expose the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal, the worst financial fraud in the history of humanitarian relief. Due in substantial part to her investigation, the U.S. House and Senate launched inquiries into the program. Ms. Rosett’s research has also focused on Iran’s efforts to skirt sanctions by reflagging ships through other countries. Ms. Rosett has reported from Asia, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and the Middle East. She writes a column on foreign policy for Forbes.com, and has contributed to a wide range of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer,  USA Today, Commentary, The New Republic and The Weekly Standard, and makes frequent guest appearances on TV and radio.

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) is serving his tenth term in Congress, representing Southern California’s 40th district, based in Orange County. Rep. Royce serves as a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In this role, he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and is a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Rep. Royce is known for his knowledge of many different regions of the world and analytical foresight into key U.S. foreign policy issues. 

Dr. Robert Satloff is the Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and also holds the Institute's Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. He is an expert on Arab and Islamic politics as well as U.S. Middle East policy and has written and spoken widely on the Arab-Israeli peace process, the challenge of Political Islam, and the need to revamp U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East. The author or editor of nine books and monographs, Dr. Satloff's views on Middle East issues appear frequently in major newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. A frequent commentator on major television network news programs, talk shows, and National Public Radio, he has testified on numerous occasions to Senate and House committees concerned with U.S. Middle East policy.

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer is the Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He previously worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and for several other U.S.-based think tanks. Dr. Schanzer has co-authored two studies on the impact of social media called Palestinian Pulse: What Policy Makers Can Learn from Palestinian Social Media and Facebook Fatwa: Saudi Clerics, Wahhabi Islam and Social Media. In addition, Dr. Schanzer’s book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine, is still the only book on the market that analyzes the internecine conflict between the two most powerful Palestinian factions. Dr. Schanzer has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media. He has appeared on American television channels such as Fox News, CNN, Al-Arabiya, and Al-Jazeera.

Leonard "Sandy" Spector is Deputy Director of the Monterey Institute of International Studies' James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and leads the Center's Washington, D.C. office. In addition he serves as editor-in-chief of the Center's publications. Mr. Spector joined CNS from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he served as an Assistant Deputy Administrator for Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration. Prior to his tenure at DOE, Mr. Spector served as Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Director of its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Project. Mr. Spector also established the Program on Post-Soviet Nuclear Affairs at Carnegie's Moscow Center. Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, Mr. Spector served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Proliferation Subcommittee, where he assisted in drafting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. He began his career in nuclear nonproliferation as a Special Counsel at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Bret Stephens is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He writes the “Global View” column on foreign affairs, which runs every Tuesday in the United States and is also published in the European and Asian editions of the paper. He is a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, and has previously worked for the paper as an assistant Editorial Features Editor in New York and as an editorial writer in Brussels for The Wall Street Journal Europe. From March 2002 to October 2004, Mr. Stephens was Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post where he was responsible for the paper’s news and editorial divisions.

Adam J. Szubin is the Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Mr. Szubin is responsible for administering and enforcing the U.S. Government’s economic sanction programs to advance foreign policy and national security objectives. These programs target supporters of terrorism, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), international narcotics traffickers, and select foreign countries. Mr. Szubin has also served as the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, helping to develop and coordinate the implementation of policies on terrorist financing, money laundering, sanctions programs, rogue regimes, WMD proliferation, and intelligence analysis. Mr. Szubin chaired the Money Laundering Threat Assessment Working Group, which produced the first government-wide analysis of U.S. money laundering vulnerabilities. Previously, Mr. Szubin served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, coordinating the Justice Department’s efforts to combat terrorism financing.

Dr. Ray Takeyh is a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. His areas of specialization include Iran, political reform in the Middle East, and Islamist movements and parties. Prior to joining the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Takeyh was a Senior Advisor on Iran at the Department of State and was previously a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has testified frequently in front of various congressional committees and authored works such as The Guardians of the Revolution: Iran's Approach to the World (Oxford University Press. 2009).

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 was a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Ambassador Woolsey previously served in the U.S. government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations.

Dr. Robert F. Worth is a writer for The New York Times, where he has served as a correspondent in Baghdad and in Beirut. Dr. Worth has written extensively on the effects of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Most recently, Dr. Worth wrote, “Al Qaeda-Inspired Groups, Minus Goal of Striking U.S.” which documents the rise of Al Qaeda affiliates in Africa and the Middle East. Before joining the New York Times in 2000, Dr. Worth was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 1998-1999. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Princeton University.

Dr. Michael Yaffe is a Distinguished Professor and former Academic Dean at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University. Prior to joining the NESA Center, Dr. Yaffe was a career Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Department of State where he concentrated on Middle East regional security and weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation. He served on U.S. delegations to the Madrid Middle East Peace Process, Arms Control and Regional Security Working Group, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committees and Review Conferences, General Conferences of the International Atomic Energy Agency, NATO, and other international forums.