Jamestown Conference on Yemen: War Without End

Thursday, April 25, 2019

9:30 A.M.—2:30 P.M.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Root Room (Second Floor)

1779 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036-2109

The war in Yemen has entered its fourth year and shows no sign of ending. Four years of aerial bombardment and foreign intervention have done little to break the stalemate. The Houthis remain in control of much of northwest Yemen, while the rest of the country has broken down into warring fiefdoms controlled by a growing amount of armed militias.

The Jamestown conference “Yemen: War Without End” will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the current state of the war, the stakes for the major players, the status of the humanitarian crisis, the implications for regional security, new developments on the ground, potential action by the United States and other Western powers, the counterterrorism threat from AQAP and Islamic State, and the potential for peace.

Panel One Audio: Yemen at a Crossroads

Right-Click Here to Download Panel One MP3 File


Panel Two Audio: Prospects for Peace and Reconciliation in Yemen

Right-Click Here to Download Panel Two MP3 File


Panel Three Audio: Players, Parties and Proxies in the Yemen War

Right-Click Here to Download Panel Three MP3 File






 8:30 A.M.–9:25 A.M.



 9:30 A.M.

Glen E. Howard

President, The Jamestown Foundation 


Panel One: Yemen at a Crossroads

9:30 A.M.—10:45 A.M.



Ambassador Edmund Hull

Former US Ambassador to Yemen  


“Yemen: Not a Proxy War but a Multi-Dimensional Conflict”

Sama’a Al-Hamdani

Yemeni Researcher and Visiting Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, and Director of the Yemeni Cultural Institute for Heritage and the Arts 


Still Off-track, U.S. Policy on Yemen

Dr. Nabeel Khoury

Nabeel Khoury is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East 


4 Years of Conflict: The Status of the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Basma Alloush

Advocacy and Communications officer,

Norwegian Refugee Council, USA 


Coffee Break

10:45 A.M.–11:15 A.M.


Panel Two: Prospects for Peace and Reconciliation in Yemen 

11:15 A.M.—12:15 P.M.



Ambassador Gerald M. Feierstein

Senior Vice President, Middle East Institute  


Sores of the Past in the Quest for Future Peace

Ambassador Abdulmalik Aleryani

Former Ambassador of Yemen and Former Minister


Reconciliation in Yemen: Challenges and Prospects

Dr. Hamid Alawadhi

Professor of Linguistics and Cultural Studies, Point Park University


Conference Luncheon

12:15 P.M.—1:00 P.M. 


Panel Three: Players, Parties and Proxies in the Yemen War

1:00 P.M.—2:30 P.M.



Michael Ryan  

 Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation


“Iran and Yemen”

Alex Vatanka

 Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute and Jamestown Foundation


The Role and Implications of AQAP and IS in Yemen’s War

Brian Perkins  

Editor in Chief, Terrorism Monitor


“The Critical Position of South Yemen in the Yemen War: Players, Parties, and Proxies”

Rafid Jaboori

Jamestown  Analyst



2:30 P.M

Participant Biographies

Ambassador Abdulmalik Aleryani

Ambassador Aleryani is a development expert with over 30 years of experience in economic and social development, international cooperation, politics, and diplomacy. Aleryani began his career as a development specialist in 1985 at the Ministry of Planning and Development working with bilateral and multilateral partners in the preparation and monitoring development projects. In 1997, He chaired the Small Enterprise Development Unit which extended macro-credits to small entrepreneurs. In 1999, He chaired the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood and managed a (World Bank)-(UNICEF) project to advocate the integrated development and protection approach of mothers and children.

Aleryani eventually became the Yemeni Minister of Tourism and Environment in 2001, where he coordinated the Arab States preparations for The Sustainable Development Summit, and chaired the Arab Council of Environment Ministers during the preparation year. He was sent to represent his country as its ambassador to the Netherlands in 2003 and continued his assignment until 2007. He joined the Yemeni Shora Council—an appointed, advisory body that provides the government with opinion and policy recommendations—in 2011, and served there until 2014.


Dr. Hamid Alawadhi

Dr.  Hamid Alawadhi was, between 2014-2016, a Deputy Minister of Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen. Because of the war in Yemen, Dr. Alawadhi had to leave the country. He made it out alive with some of his family members and found refuge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he is now an Adjunct Professor of Linguistics and Middle Eastern Studies at Point Park University.

Between 2010-2014, he served as a Dean of the Diplomatic Institute in the Yemeni Foreign Ministry. Before that, between 2008-2010, he was a Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sanaa, the main university in Yemen. He was also a Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies at the same University.

Between 2003 and 2008, he served as an Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Yemen to UNESCO, when Yemen was a member of the Executive Board of that Organization. He participated actively in the UNESCO’s committees and working groups in different realms.

He Worked between 2001-2003 as the Head of the Information and Cultural Department of the General People Conference, the ruler party of Yemen at that time.

Dr. Alawadhi has an active record in terms of publications in Political, Cultural Affairs and in Linguistics. He has so far published more than ten books and numerous articles and studies. The Encyclopedia of Yemen is the most important intellectual achievement in which Dr. Alawadhi contributed as Chief Editor and it was published in several volumes in 2003.

He was also very active in the field of Human Rights when he served as Vice-Coordinator of the Supreme National Committee of Human Rights between 1998-2001. As well as in the campaign for enhancing Human Rights in Yemen in the occasion of the Fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1998. He is furthermore very active in Volunteering and in NGO’s engagement for fighting Poverty and the scourge of Qat (a kind of drug) in the Yemeni society. He is still currently volunteering.

Dr. Alawadhi, by his extensive knowledge about the history and culture of Yemen and the region of the Middle East, continues working on disseminating reliable analysis and conducting researches and studies for the United Nation bodies and gives lectures about Yemen in various settings based on an independent stand.


Sama’a Al-Hamdani

Sama’a Al-Hamdani is an independent researcher and analyst focusing on Yemen. She is currently a Visiting fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. She is also the director of the Yemen Cultural Institute for Heritage and the Arts (YCIHA), a nonprofit based in Washington DC dedicated to Yemeni arts and heritage.

In the past, she has provided analysis to the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center, the United States Institute of Peace, Brookings Institute and Carnegie. She was a Research Fellow at the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS). Her work was published in the Lawfare blog (Brookings), The National (UAE), MENAsource (The Atlantic Council Blog), Almonitor, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Fikra Forum (The Middle East Institute Journal), The Middle East Eye, Yemen Observer, Yemen Times and several other prominent publications and academic Journals. She also wrote the blog Yemeniaty.com from 2011-2015 that helped explain political dynamics in Yemen during the Arab Spring up to the war.


Basma Alloush

Basma Alloush is the advocacy and communications officer at NRC USA covering the Middle East and West Africa. Additionally, Alloush is a Syrian researcher looking at conflict-related economic activities and human security issues in Syria. Alloush obtained her Master’s degree at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where she focused on Transitional Justice, Human Security, and Conflict Resolution.  Alloush completed her thesis project on the role of diaspora in transitional justice processes with a particular focus on the Syrian and Liberian cases.


Ambassador Gerald M. Feierstein

Ambassador (ret.) Gerald Feierstein is senior vice president at the Middle East Institute. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career with the personal rank of Career Minister. As a diplomat he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as assignments in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Amb. Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Amb. Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

In addition to his career-long focus on the Near East and South Asia, Amb. Feierstein also played a prominent role in developing and implementing State Department policies and programs to counter violent extremism.  As Deputy Coordinator and Principal Deputy Coordinator in the State Department’s Counter-Terrorism bureau, Amb. Feierstein led the development of initiatives to build regional networks to confront extremist groups as well as to counter terrorist financing and promote counter-terrorism messaging.  He continued to focus on defeating terrorist groups through his subsequent tours as Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan and as Ambassador to Yemen.


Ambassador Edmund Hull

After 9/11, Edmund J. Hull was sent as ambassador to Yemen, where he served until mid-2004. Previously, he served both Presidents Clinton and Bush as Deputy, then Acting, Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the Department of State. A career foreign service officer, he also served as director for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs, deputy chief of mission in Embassy Cairo, director for Near East Affairs on the National Security Council, and director for Northern Gulf Affairs (Iraq and Iran) during Operation Desert Storm. A graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, he was appointed its first diplomat-in-residence after departing Yemen. Ambassador Hull has received numerous honors including the CIA’s George H. W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, a Presidential Meritorious Service Award for duty in Yemen and the State Department’s Award for Excellence in the Direction and Management of Overseas Missions for work as Deputy Chief of Mission in Cairo. Ambassador Hull’s views on Yemen have been featured on 60 Minutes, CNN, the New York Times, and Al Jazeera. His op ed Al Qaeda’s Shadowland ran in the New York Timeson January 11, 2010. His book High-Value Target: Countering Al Qaeda in Yemen was published by Potomac Books in April, 2011. The American Academy of Diplomacy has selected High-Value Target for the 2011 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on Diplomacy.


Rafid Jaboori

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 and is a frequent contributor to the Jamestown publications, Terrorism Monitor and Militant Leadership Monitor.


Dr. Nabeel Khoury

Dr. Nabeel Khoury is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. His commentaries appear on the Atlantic Council’s MENASource blog, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, and on his own blog, Middle East Corner.

After twenty-five years in the US Foreign Service, Khoury retired from the US Department of State in 2013 with the rank of minister counselor. He taught Middle East and US strategy courses at the National Defense University and Northwestern University. In his last overseas posting, Khoury served as deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Yemen (2004-2007). In 2003, during the Iraq war, he served as Department spokesperson at US Central Command in Doha and in Baghdad.

Khoury is the author of a forthcoming book from Westphalia Press, title No Regrets: An Arab-American in the U.S. Foreign Service.


Brian Perkins  

Brian M. Perkins is an Intelligence Manager at a large risk management consultancy and is a former Navy Signals Intelligence Analyst. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed journals and has been cited by the UNHCR, academic presses, and international media outlets. His research primarily focuses on Yemen, though he regularly writes about terrorism and political violence in the broader MENA region.


Michael 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.


Alex Vatanka

Alex Vatanka specializes in Middle Eastern regional security affairs with a particular focus on Iran. 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 US Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) at Hurlburt Field and teaches as an adjunct professor at DISAM at Wright-Patterson AFB.

He has lectured widely for both governmental and commercial audiences, including the US Departments of State and Defense, US intelligence agencies, US Congressional staff, and Middle Eastern energy firms.

Beyond Jane’s, the Middle East Institute and the Jamestown Foundation, he has written for such outlets as The Christian Science MonitorForeign AffairsAmericas Quarterly, CNN.com, Al Monitor, the Journal of International Security Affairs, BBC Persian Online, The National Interest, The World Today, PBS, Daily Beast, the Jerusalem Post, Journal of Democracy and the Council of Foreign Relations.

Born in Tehran, he is fluent in Farsi and Danish. He is the author of “Iran-Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy, and American Influence” (2015) and is presently working on his second book, “The Making of Iranian Foreign Policy: Contested Ideology, Personal Rivalries and the Domestic Struggle to Define Iran’s Place in the World.”