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Clifford D. May

Founder and President

Areas of Impact:

Islamism, Pakistan, Israel, Iraq, Al Qaeda, Intelligence Community, Afghanistan, Iran, Energy Security

Biography:

Clifford D. May is the founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan policy institute focusing on national security created immediately following the 9/11/01 attacks on the United States. Under his leadership, FDD has become one of the nation’s most highly regarded think tanks and a sought-after voice on a wide range of national security issues. He has helped assemble a staff and advisory board of the most compelling scholars and experts whose research, ideas and recommendations have shaped important policies and legislation on terrorism, nonproliferation, human rights, Islamism, democratization and related issues.

In August 2016, Mr. May was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress in order to advance the pivotal right of religious freedom around the world and integrate religious freedom into America’s foreign policy.

Clifford D. May is the founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan policy institute focusing on national security created immediately following the 9/11/01 attacks on the United States. Under his leadership, FDD has become one of the nation’s most highly regarded think tanks and a sought-after voice on a wide range of national security issues. He has helped assemble a staff and advisory board of the most compelling scholars and experts whose research, ideas and recommendations have shaped important policies and legislation on terrorism, nonproliferation, human rights, Islamism, democratization and related issues.

In August 2016, Mr. May was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress in order to advance the pivotal right of religious freedom around the world and integrate religious freedom into America’s foreign policy.

Mr. May has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories around the world, including datelines from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Chad, Mexico, Northern Ireland, China  and Russia.

A former syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Services, he is now the weekly “Foreign Desk” columnist of The Washington Times. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.

His writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, USA Today, The Atlantic and many other publications. He is the co-editor of a book on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as one on energy policy.

In 2006 he was appointed an advisor to the Iraq Study Group (Baker-Hamilton Commission) of the United States Institute of Peace, an independent nonpartisan national institution established and funded by Congress. He also received a two-year appointment (2007-2009) to the bipartisan Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, reporting to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In 2008, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the entity responsible for all US government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting. In 2009, the U.S. Department of State awarded him a "U.S. Speaker and Specialist Grant" for a series of speaking engagements and meetings (with government and religious leaders, academics and journalists) in Pakistan.

He served as the Communications Director for the Republican National Committee during the historic 2000 cycle in which Republicans won the presidency, the Senate and the House for the first time in 48 years (as well as a majority of state legislatures and governors’ mansions).

Mr. May holds master’s degrees from both Columbia University’s School of International Affairs and its School of Journalism. His undergraduate degree is from Sarah Lawrence College, and he holds a certificate in Russian language and literature from Leningrad State University, USSR. He is a member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. He is married and has two children.

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Why peace can’t be processed now

13th February 2018 – The Washington Times

Why peace can’t be processed now

Clifford D. May

Decade after decade, one administration after another has set in motion what has been called a “peace process.” None has come close to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. more...

Analysis & Commentary

16th February 2018 – Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

U.S. Overtures to Hezbollah Suggest Internal Trump Admin Battle

Clifford D. May

A top Trump administration official this week said the United States see a role for the Iranian-backed terror organization Hezbollah in political discussions about the future of Lebanon, a decision that is raising concerns about internal divisions inside the Trump administration, according to recent statements and sources close to the administration who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon. more...

15th February 2018 – Quoted by John Dale Dunn - American Thinker

Dezinformatsiya: Russian Interference Is Real

Clifford D. May

In a recent AT essay, I wrote of the warnings of Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former high-level Romanian intelligence officer who defected to the U.S. in 1978. more...

14th February 2018 – Fox News

Lou Dobbs Tonight

Clifford D. May

FFD's Clifford D. May joins Lou Dobbs Tonight to weigh-in on a few lessons from Israeli security. more...

13th February 2018 – The Washington Times

Why peace can’t be processed now

Clifford D. May

Decade after decade, one administration after another has set in motion what has been called a “peace process.” None has come close to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. more...