Margarita Assenova is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation. She is a regular contributor to the Jamestown publication Eurasia Daily Monitor on political and energy security developments in the Balkans and Central Asia. Assenova is a recipient of the John Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for her reporting on nationalism in the Balkans. She has authored book chapters and journal articles on security, energy, and democracy published by CSIS Press, Brassey’s, Freedom House, Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers, the University of New Haven, and The Jamestown Foundation.
Assenova’s latest books include Eurasian Disunion: Russia’s Vulnerable Flanks (The Jamestown Foundation, 2016), a critical study on Russian subversion in Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia, co-authored with Janusz Bugajski, and the edited volume Azerbaijan and the New Energy Geopolitics of Southeastern Europe (The Jamestown Foundation, 2015).
Matthew Brazil, Ph.D. is a Non-Resident Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation and an account manager at an American technology company. He worked in Asia for over 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, American diplomat, and corporate security manager. With Peter Mattis, he is the co-author of Chinese Espionage: An Intelligence Primer (Annapolis, Maryland:
Janusz Bugajski is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation in Washington, DC. He hosted several long-running television shows broadcast in the Balkans; has authored 21 books on Europe, Russia, and transatlantic relations; and is a columnist for several media outlets. His recent books include Failed State: A Guide to Russia’s Rupture (2022), Eurasian Disunion: Russia’s Vulnerable Flanks (with Margarita Assenova) (2016); Conflict Zones: North Caucasus and Western Balkans Compared (2014); Return of the Balkans: Challenges to European Integration and U.S. Disengagement (2013); and Georgian Lessons: Conflicting Russian and Western Interests in the Wider Europe (2010). His upcoming book to be published by Jamestown is titled: Pivotal Poland: Europe’s Rising Strategic Player.
Bugajski has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and was Director of the New European Democracies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. He has served as consultant for the US Department of Defense and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as a course chair for Central Europe and South Central Europe Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State. He has testified before several congressional committees, including: Helsinki Commission, Senate Foreign Relations, Senate Armed Services, House Foreign Affairs, and House Defense Appropriations. He is also a columnist or contributor to media outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kosova, and Ukraine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Non-Resident Fellow in Eurasian Military Affairs
Dr. Can Kasapoglu is a defense analyst. Dr. Kasapoglu holds a M.Sci. degree from the Turkish Military Academy and a Ph.D. from the Turkish War College. Dr. Can Kasapoglu was an Eisenhower fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome and a visiting scholar at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn. Currently, Dr. Kasapoglu is the director of the defense and security program at the Istanbul-based think-tank EDAM.
He previously held research posts at reputable think-tanks, such as the SWP of Germany, FRS of France, and the BESA Center of Israel.
His works can be followed @EdamDefense
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 in the History Department and Master’s Program in Global Political Economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of six books on China, including Chinese Politics in the Era of Xi Jinping (2015). His latest book, The Fight for China’s Future, was released by Routledge Publishing in 2020.
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).
Col (ret.) Rich Outzen
Colonel (retired) Rich Outzen is a geopolitical analyst and consultant currently serving private sector clients as Dragoman LLC. He served in the Department of State as a military advisor beginning from 2016 through 2021, working in the Policy Planning office and later the office of the Special Representative for Syria (SRS). He was a member of the National Defense University (NDU) and Institute for National Security Studies faculty from July 2013 through June 2016. He served as the U.S. Defense Attaché in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2014-2015, on temporary duty from NDU. He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and Development for the U.S. Security Coordinator in Jerusalem. He has researched and published extensively on matters of policy and strategy, with a focus on the greater Middle East and Central Asia.
A U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer, he has served in a variety of staff, command, and policy support assignments in Washington, D.C. and overseas. He has helped shape interagency discussion and national policy options for transitions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. His areas of expertise include Defense Policy and Strategy, Strategic Culture, the Middle East, NATO/Europe, and Central Asia.
Colonel (retired) Outzen graduated cum laude with a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1989, and holds an M.A. in National Strategic Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School as well as an M.S. in National Security Resourcing from the Eisenhower School, and is currently a PhD candidate at George Mason University’s Schar School. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Eisenhower School, and a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He has published dozens of articles and book chapters on language, culture, strategy, and Middle Eastern affairs. Outzen speaks Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, and German, and has spent over a decade serving in U.S. military and diplomatic missions overseas. He has participated in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. His military service has also included tours in the office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff, and service as military attaché in Afghanistan and Israel.
Michael W. S. Ryan
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.
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.
Senior Fellow – Eurasia Program
Dr. Sergey Sukhankin is a Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, and an Advisor at Gulf State Analytics (Washington, D.C.). He received his PhD in Contemporary Political and Social History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His areas of interest include Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea region, Russian information and cyber security, A2/AD and its interpretation in Russia, the Arctic region, and the development of Russian private military companies since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. He has consulted or briefed with CSIS (Canada), DIA (USA), and the European Parliament. His project discussing the activities of Russian PMCs, “War by Other Means” informed the United Nations General Assembly report entitled “Use of Mercenaries as a Means of Violating Human Rights and Impeding the Exercise of the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination.” He is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
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 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.
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 Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor, Journal of Commerce, National Interest, Survival, Global Affairs, and The Weekly Standard.
Senior Fellow – African and Eurasian Affairs
Jacob Zenn is an adjunct assistant professor on African Armed Movements and Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics at the Georgetown University Security Studies Program (SSP) and editor of Terrorism Monitor and senior fellow on African and Eurasian Affairs for The Jamestown Foundation in Washington DC. He authored the book, Unmasking Boko Haram: Exploring Global Jihad in Nigeria, which was published in April 2020 by Lynne Rienner in association with the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews. Zenn has also written on international security for academic journals such as Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, Small Wars and Insurgencies, African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal for De-Radicalization, African Security, and the Internationa