Subscribe to FDD

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 - 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 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 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 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 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

Jerusalem, on a Knife’s Edge

10th November 2014 – Foreign Policy

Jerusalem, on a Knife’s Edge

Jonathan Schanzer

Stabbing attacks and random acts of Palestinian terror have brought the violence in Gaza and the West Bank into the heart of Israel. more...

Analysis & Commentary

21st January 2015 – Voice of America

VOA News

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses the goals of the Islamic State in Syria. more...

21st January 2015 – Quoted by Carla Babb - VOA News

Obama Praises US-led Coalition, Syrian Training to Defeat IS

Jonathan Schanzer

In his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, President Barack Obama described U.S. efforts to defeat the Islamic State group in Syria, including the training of Syrian moderates to lead the battle. more...

21st January 2015 – Quoted by Susan Crabtree - The Washington Examiner

Obama Mum as Counterterror Strategy Flounders in Yemen

Jonathan Schanzer

With Shiite rebels eroding Yemen's government, President Obama's anti-terror strategy — which included using Yemen as a model for action against Islamic terrorists and even opening a terrorist halfway house in the troubled gulf country — is in free fall. more...

20th January 2015 – Cited by Steven Cook - Defense One

How Turkey Can Improve Its Relations With the West

David Andrew Weinberg, Jonathan Schanzer

Since the outbreak of the Gezi Park protests, which began in May 2013, there has been an inordinate amount of commentary in the newspapers of record, opinion magazines, policy journals, and blogs about Turkey. more...