Senior Fellows

Valery Dzutsati
Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Valery Dzutsati is a doctoral student in political science at Arizona State University. Mr. Dzutsati is a native of North Ossetia. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the North Ossetian State University and Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. His research interests extend to ethnic and religious conflict, political violence, evolution of Russia and countries in Eurasia. His articles appeared in Nationalities Papers, and are forthcoming in Caucasus Survey and Post-Soviet Affairs. He has systematically covered developments in the North Caucasus for the Washington-based research and analysis institute The Jamestown Foundation since 2009. Between 2002 and 2007, Mr. Dzutsati served as country director for the British media development organization the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and was based in Vladikavkaz.

Pavel Felgenhauer
Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Dr. Pavel E. Felgenhauer is an independent, Moscow-based defense analyst.

Paul Goble
Distinguished Senior Fellow

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. While there, he launched the “Window on Eurasia” series. Prior to joining the faculty there in 2004, he served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He writes frequently on ethnic and religious issues and has edited five volumes on ethnicity and religion in the former Soviet space. Trained at Miami University in Ohio and the University of Chicago, he has been decorated by the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for his work in promoting Baltic independence and the withdrawal of Russian forces from those formerly occupied lands.

Richard D. Hooker, Jr.
Distinguished Senior Fellow

Dr. Richard D. Hooker, Jr. is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation. A University Professor, he holds The Theodore Roosevelt Chair in National Security Affairs at the National Defense University. He previously served as the Director, Institute for National Strategic Studies at NDU and as Dean of the NATO Defense College in Rome. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. A former White House Fellow, Dr. Hooker taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point and held the Chief of Staff of the Army Chair at the National War College in Washington, D.C. As a military officer and senior defense official, he served in the White House in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump in the Executive Office of the President and National Security Council, most recently as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia.

Dr. Hooker graduated with a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy in 1981 and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in International Relations from the University of Virginia. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. National War College, where he earned an M.S. in National Security Studies.  He has authored more than sixty articles and six books on security and defense-related topics. Dr. Hooker has lectured extensively at leading academic and military institutions in the United States and abroad, including Harvard and Oxford. Prior to his retirement from active duty, Dr. Hooker served for 30 years in the United States Army as a parachute infantry officer in the United States and Europe. While on active duty he participated in military operations in Grenada, Somalia, Rwanda, the Sinai, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, including command of a parachute brigade in Baghdad from January 2005 to January 2006. His military service also included tours in the offices of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Rafid Jaboori
Fellow – Middle Eastern Affairs

Rafid Jaboori is a journalist, writer and researcher. He is a former BBC World Service Reporter. He covered The Iraq War and its aftermath, the conflict in Syria, and several other events. He is an expert in militant groups in the Middle East.

Theodore Karasik
Fellow – Russian and Middle Eastern Affairs

Dr. Theodore Karasik is the Fellow on Russian and Middle Eastern Affairs at the Jamestown Foundation. He is also currently a Senior Advisor to Gulf State Analytics and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Lexington Institute, both located in Washington, DC. Dr. Karasik spent 2004 through 2016 in the GCC, the Middle East and Russia. For the past 30 years, Karasik worked for a number of US agencies involved in researching and analyzing defense acquisition, the use of military power, and religious-political issues across MENA and Eurasia, including the evolution of violent extremism and its financing.

Thomas Kent
Senior Fellow

Thomas Kent is the former president and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and a specialist in Russian affairs and international journalism. In a lengthy career at The Associated Press, he led AP operations in Russia and Iran, served as NATO correspondent in Brussels, and was international editor and standards editor of the AP. In 2016-18, Kent served as president and CEO of RFE/RL, based in Prague. Kent has written and spoken extensively on the geopolitics of information, propaganda, journalistic ethics and press freedom. He has addressed, in English, French, Russian and Spanish, professional forums in more than 20 countries and students of nearly 30 universities. He teaches about the information war and international journalism at the Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. He has twice been a member of the Pulitzer Prize jury for international reporting. Kent is a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio and holds a degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University.

Willy Wo-Lap Lam
Senior Fellow – China Program

Dr. Willy Wo-Lap Lam is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Center for China Studies, the History Department and the Program of Master’s in Global Political Economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of five books on China, including “Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao Era: New Leaders, New Challenges.”

Roger McDermott
Senior Fellow – Eurasia Program

Roger N. McDermott specializes in Russian and Central Asian defense and security issues and is a Senior Fellow in Eurasian Military Studies, The Jamestown Foundation, Washington DC, Senior International Research Fellow for the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Affiliated Senior Analyst, Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen. McDermott is on the editorial board of Central Asia and the Caucasus and the scientific board of the Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies. He recently wrote The Reform of Russia’s Conventional Armed Forces: Problems, Challenges and Policy Implications (October 2011).

Michael W. S. Ryan
Senior Fellow

Dr. Michael W. S. Ryan is an independent consultant and researcher on Middle Eastern security issues and a Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation. He is the author of Decoding Al-Qaeda’s Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America (Columbia University Press, 2013). Ryan has served as the Vice President of the Middle East Institute as well as Vice President at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (2007-2008), and as a political-military and foreign assistance specialist for the Departments of Defense and State with an emphasis on Middle East and North Africa (1979-1997). He is a former Fulbright Fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt. Ryan received his BA from St. John’s College and a PhD from Harvard University.

Vladimir Socor
Senior Fellow – Eurasia Program

Vladimir Socor is a Senior Fellow of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation and its flagship publication, Eurasia Daily Monitor (1995 to date), where he writes analytical articles on a daily basis. An internationally recognized expert on the former Soviet-ruled countries in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia, he covers Russian and Western policies, focusing on energy, regional security issues, Russian foreign affairs, secessionist conflicts, and NATO policies and programs. Mr. Socor is a frequent speaker at U.S. and European policy conferences and think-tank institutions; as well as a regular guest lecturer at the NATO Defense College and at Harvard University’s National Security Program’s Black Sea Program. He is also a frequent contributor to edited volumes. Mr. Socor was previously an analyst with the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute (1983-1994). He is a Romanian-born citizen of the United States based in Munich, Germany.

Stephen Ulph
Senior Fellow

Stephen Ulph is a Senior Fellow with The Jamestown Foundation. One of the preeminent analysts of the Islamic world, Mr. Ulph specializes in the economic and political developments of the Middle East and North Africa. He is the founder and former editor of the Terrorism Security Monitor and former editor and analyst of Islamic Affairs for Jane’s Information Group.

Alex Vatanka
Senior Fellow

Alex Vatanka specializes in Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Iranian regional and foreign policy. From 2006 to 2010, he was the managing editor of Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst. From 2001 to 2006, he was a senior political analyst at Jane’s in London (UK) where he mainly covered the Middle East. Alex is also a senior fellow in Middle East Studies at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) at Hurlburt Field and teaches as an adjunct professor at DISAM at Wright-Patterson AFB. Born in Tehran, he holds a BA in Political Science (Sheffield University, UK), and an MA in International Relations (Essex University, UK), and is fluent in Farsi and Danish. He is currently working on a book on Iranian-Pakistani relations and its impact on U.S. national security.

Mairbek Vatchagaev
Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Dr. Mairbek Vatchagaev is a noted Chechen historian and political analyst on the North Caucasus and a former senior ranking official in the Chechen government of Aslan Maskhadov. A native of Chechnya, Dr. Vatchagaev is currently a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation and a regular contributor to the Jamestown publication Eurasia Daily Monitor where he writes about developments in the North Caucasus. He has published 56 articles on the history of Chechnya and Sufism in the North-Caucasus; 285 articles related to political science on the North Caucasus and Russia; including five books on the history and religion in Chechnya and the North Caucasus. In 1997 he published a book on the first 100 days in office of the first ever democratically elected President of Chechnya—Aslan Maskhadov. He is also the author of the book, “Chechnya in the 19th Century Caucasian Wars.”

S. Enders Wimbush
Distinguished Senior Fellow

S. Enders Wimbush is Distinguished Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation, and Partner, StrateVarious LLC. From 2011 to 2012, he served as Senior Director, Foreign Policy and Civil Society, at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Before joining the German Marshall Fund, Mr. Wimbush served as Senior Vice President of the Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. He spent many years in the private sector with Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International, directing analyses of future security environments for both government and corporate clients. Mr. Wimbush served as a member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors during 2010–2012, and during 1987–1993 as Director of Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. Mr. Wimbush founded and directed the Society for Central Asian Studies in Oxford, England from 1980 to 1987. Before this, from 1976 until 1980, he served as analyst of Soviet affairs at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Wimbush completed graduate work at the University of Chicago and, as a Fulbright Fellow, at Moscow State University. He is the author, co-author or editor of seven books and numerous articles in professional and popular media, as well as dozens of policy studies. His ideas have appeared frequently in professional, policy and popular media, including The Wall Street JournalWashington PostLos Angeles TimesWashington TimesChristian Science MonitorJournal of Commerce, National InterestSurvivalGlobal Affairs, and The Weekly Standard.