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Our Team

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

Areas of Impact:

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

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 Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

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 Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

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.

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Turkey’s Teflon Don

31st March 2014 – Foreign Policy

Turkey’s Teflon Don

Jonathan Schanzer, Emanuele Ottolenghi

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan triumphantly addressed thousands of supporters last night from the balcony of his party's headquarters in the... more...

Analysis & Commentary

15th April 2014 – Quoted by Today's Zaman

Dubai May Be a Hub for Turkey and Iran’s Illicit Transactions

Jonathan Schanzer

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington-based think tank, has claimed in a policy brief issued on Monday that Dubai may have turned into... more...

15th April 2014 – Quoted by Glen Johnson, Al Jazeera

Syria’s Conflict Raises Turkey Tension

Jonathan Schanzer

Men sit playing cards in a cafe perched beside the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. The craggy peak of Mount Aqraa stretches away in the distance. more...

14th April 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

Dubai: A Hub for Illicit Transactions for Iran and Turkey?

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey was rocked by a report last month, leaked by the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office, detailing the alleged illicit financial activities of Iranian businessman Rezza... more...

7th April 2014 – Quoted by Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor

House Bill Demands Tougher Line Against Hezbollah

Jonathan Schanzer

House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill Monday aimed at cutting off money and propaganda support for Hezbollah. The... more...