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Our Team

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President

Areas of Impact:

Turkey, North Africa, Sudan, Lebanon, Arab Spring, Egypt, Islamism, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, Hezbollah, Israel, Al Qaeda, Intelligence Community, Palestinian Politics, Iran, Iran - Sanctions

Biography:

Since joining us in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world.

Dr. Schanzer brings solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD's research.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from King's College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community.

Since joining us in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world.

Dr. Schanzer brings solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD's research.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from King's College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community.

Dr. Schanzer’s books have made unique contributions to the field. He most recently published State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State (Palgrave Macmillan), which argues the main roadblock to Palestinian statehood is not necessarily Israel's intransigence, but the Palestinian Authority's political dysfunction and mismanagement. His 2008 book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave Macmillan), is still the only book on the market that analyzes the internecine conflict between the two most powerful Palestinian factions. His 2004 book, Al-Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), was the first to explore the al-Qaeda franchises of the Middle East.  More recently, Dr. Schanzer co-authored a monograph in 2010 with FDD’s executive director Mark Dubowitz titled, Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media (FDD Press).  Using proprietary technology, this study collected data from thousands of Arabic language websites to reveal the trends, thoughts, and perceptions of Palestinians online, with a focus on those that could impact current U.S. policies. In 2012, he co-authored another cutting edge study, using the same technology, with FDD researcher Steven Miller titled, Facebook Fatwa: Saudi Clerics, Wahhabi Islam and Social Media (FDD Press). This cutting edge study explores the way in which Saudi religious figures disseminate their messages to the wider Muslim world.

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 and CNN, and Arabic language television channels such as al-Arabiyya and al-Jazeera. Dr. Schanzer has traveled widely throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew.

Read full bio

The Qatar Quarrel Benefits the U.S.

12th December 2017 – The Wall Street Journal

The Qatar Quarrel Benefits the U.S.

Jonathan Schanzer

It is no secret that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been at odds with President Trump on a range of issues. One of them is the U.S. response to the spat that erupted in early June between Qatar and four other Arab states. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all accuse Qatar of funding extremists and fomenting instability in the Middle East. Mr. Tillerson has stated repeatedly that he views this fracas—in which Qatar has found itself increasingly isolated, politically and economically—as counterproductive to U.S. interests. The White House, by contrast, seems to be tacitly encouraging the Saudis and their allies to keep up the pressure. more...

Analysis & Commentary

12th December 2017 – NPR

1A

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD's Jonathan Schanzer joins NPR's 1A to discuss President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. more...

12th December 2017 – The Wall Street Journal

The Qatar Quarrel Benefits the U.S.

Jonathan Schanzer

It is no secret that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been at odds with President Trump on a range of issues. One of them is the U.S. response to the spat that erupted in early June between Qatar and four other Arab states. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all accuse Qatar of funding extremists and fomenting instability in the Middle East. Mr. Tillerson has stated repeatedly that he views this fracas—in which Qatar has found itself increasingly isolated, politically and economically—as counterproductive to U.S. interests. The White House, by contrast, seems to be tacitly encouraging the Saudis and their allies to keep up the pressure. more...

7th December 2017 – Fortune

Jerusalem Is Already Israel’s Capital. Trump Just Made it Official.

Jonathan Schanzer

Unrest is spreading across the Middle East. Anti-American protests have erupted in Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Turkey, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and beyond. The State Department has issued a worldwide warning for U.S. citizens. And it’s all because U.S. President Donald Trump said he intends to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. more...

7th December 2017 – WMAL

Mornings on the Mall

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD's Jonathan Schanzer discusses President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on WMAL's Mornings on the Mall. more...