The Impact of Arab Uprisings on Regional Stability in the Middle East and North Africa

April 20, 2011

Root Conference Room
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-2109

*To Watch C-SPAN’s Video Coverage, Please Click Here!*


8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Opening Remarks:

9:00 AM

Glen E. Howard
President, The Jamestown Foundation

Panel One: The Egyptian Revolution and its Regional Impact: What does Egypt Mean for Middle East Stability and What Comes Next?

9:10 AM to 10:30 AM

“Egypt and its Impact on Stability in the Middle East”
Bruce Riedel
Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution

“Impact of the Egyptian Revolution on Stability in the Gulf”
Gary Sick
Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University

Moderator: Michael Ryan
Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation

Q & A

Coffee Break: 10:30 AM to 10:45 AM

Panel Two: The Impact on North Africa

10:45 PM to 12:00 PM

“The Future of Egypt”
Graeme Bannerman
Scholar, Middle East Institute

“Libya and North Africa”
Camille Tawil
Journalist, Al-Hayat Newspaper

“The Mitsubishi War: Jamestown on the Ground Among Libya’s Rebels”
Derek Henry Flood
Editor, Militant Leadership Monitor, The Jamestown Foundation

“Security Implications for North Africa in the Wake of the Arab Revolution”
Andrew McGregor
Senior Editor, Global Terrorism Analysis, The Jamestown Foundation

Break for Lunch: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Panel Three: The Impact on the Gulf

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Moderator: Ambassador Marcelle Wahba
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates

“Iran in the Post-Mubarak Era: The Impact on Tehran’s Domestic and Foreign Policy”
Babak Rahimi
Assistant Professor, Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego    

“The Impact of the Arab Revolutions on Iranian Strategy Toward the GCC:”
Alex Vatanka
Scholar, Middle East Institute

“Why Nothing Happened in Saudi Arabia”    
Thomas Lippman
Senior Fellow for Middle East Affairs, Council on Foreign Relations

Coffee Break: 2:45 PM to 3:00 PM

Panel Four: Developments in the Arabian Peninsula

3:00 PM to 4:15 PM

Moderator: Edmund Hull
Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen

“The Crisis in Yemen”
Michael Horton
Senior Analyst for Arabian Affairs, The Jamestown Foundation

“Yemen: Tribes, Sultans and Sects. From Zaydis and Shafi’is to al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula”
Alexander Knysh
Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Michigan

Commentator: Nabeel Khoury
Director, Near East South Asia, U.S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research


4:15 PM

Participant Biographies

M. Graeme Bannerman

M. Graeme Bannerman is a scholar at the Middle East Institute. As such, he frequently provides commentary on Middle Eastern issues for numerous American and international media outlets.  Prior to joining the Middle East Institute in 2007, he founded and served as President of Bannerman & Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm working to strengthen relationships between its clients and U.S. government officials in Congress as well as the Administration.  Among its clients was the Government of Egypt. From 1979 to 1987, Bannerman served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  His last position was Committee Staff Director under Chairman Richard Lugar.  From 1979 through 1984, he was the Committee’s professional staff member responsible for the Middle East and South Asia.  In this position, he worked for both Democrat Chairman Frank Church and Republican Chairman Charles Percy.  From 1975 to 1979, he was employed by the Department of State as a Middle Eastern Affairs Analyst and on the Policy Planning Staff.  He worked on Arab-Israeli affairs during the time of Camp David and the negotiation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.  Before joining the government he taught at several institutions including Georgetown University, George Washington University, and The American University in Beirut. Bannerman has a doctorate in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Wisconsin, and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the American University in Beirut.

Derek Henry Flood

Derek Henry Flood is the editor of The Jamestown Foundation’s Militant Leadership Monitor publication. Flood is also an independent author and analyst specializing in the interregional dynamics and transnational human networks of the Middle East-North Africa region, South Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is also a correspondent for Asia Times Online whose recent work has included the Libyan war, political transformation in Egypt, sectarian repression in Bahrain, the history of al-Qaeda in Malaysia, and ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan . He holds a BA in Geography and Anthropology from San Diego State University.  Flood researched his senior thesis on the rise of the Taliban movement well before 9/11 in Peshawar, Pakistan. He appears regularly as a commentator in international media outlets including BBC World Service, BBC Arabic, CNN, and Voice of America’s Russian Service.  He has recently returned from a six-week reporting trip to Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Ethiopia.  Flood contributes to the Jamestown publication Terrorism Monitor and blogs on the Huffington Post and at

Michael Horton

Michael Horton is a Senior Analyst for Arabian Affairs at The Jamestown Foundation. Horton specializes in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. He also writes for Jane’s Intelligence Review, Intelligence Digest, Islamic Affairs Analyst, and the Christian Science Monitor. Horton studied Middle East History and Economics at the American University of Cairo and Arabic at the Center for Arabic Language and Eastern Studies in Yemen. Horton frequently travels to Yemen, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Ambassador Edmund Hull

Edmund J. Hull served as the Ambassador of the United States to Yemen from 2001 to 2004. A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Hull has also served in Cairo (twice), Tunis and Jerusalem. Assignments in Washington include Acting Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Director for UN Peacekeeping in the State Department and Director for Near East Affairs at the National Security Council. He is also the author of the forthcoming book on Yemen, High-Value Target: Countering Al Qaeda in Yemen (Potomac Books, April 2011). Ambassador Hull is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and studied for one year at Oxford University with Sir Michael Howard. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mahdia, Tunisia.

Alexander Knysh

Alexander Knysh is professor of Islamic Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He obtained his doctoral degree from the Institute for Oriental Studies (The Leningrad Branch) of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1986. Since 1991 he has lived and worked in the U.S. and (briefly) in Britain. His research interests include Islamic mysticism (Sufism) and Islamic theological thought in historical perspective as well as Islamic/Islamist movements in local contexts (especially in Yemen, North Africa and the Northern Caucasus). He has numerous publications on these subjects, including six books. Professor Knysh conducted field research in Yemen in 1986-1989 and 1999 with special reference to the cult of saints as the site of contestation between adherents of traditional Yemeni religiosity and their fundamentalist opponents.

Nabeel Khoury

Nabeel Khoury is a senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister Counselor, is currently Director of the Near East South Asia Office of the State Department’s bureau of political analysis (INR).  Previously, from 2007-08, he was the Department of State Chair at the U.S. Marine War College at Quantico. A Foreign Service Officer since 1987, Dr Khoury has served most recently as Deputy Chief of Mission in Yemen (2004-07), Deputy Director of the Media Outreach Centre in London (2002-04), and Consul General in Morocco (1994-97). In 2003, During the Iraq war, he served as Department spokesperson at Centcom in Doha and in Baghdad. Before his Foreign Service career, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the College Saint Rose in Albany, NY and earlier as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Jordan, Amman. During his years in academe, Dr Khoury published a number of articles in such journals as The Middle East Journal, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and The International Journal of Middle East Studies on issues of leadership and development in the Arab world.

Thomas W. Lippman

Thomas W. Lippman, adjunct senior fellow for Middle East affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Washington-based author and journalist who has written about Middle Eastern affairs and American foreign policy for more than three decades, specializing in Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Saudi relations, and relations between the West and Islam. He is a former Middle East bureau chief of the Washington Post, and also served as that newspaper’s oil and energy reporter. Throughout the 1990s, he covered foreign policy and national security for the Post, traveling frequently to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. He has been a frequent visitor to Saudi Arabia throughout the past decade. Lippman is the author of numerous magazine articles, book reviews and op-ed columns about Mideast affairs, and of five books: Understanding Islam (1982, 3d revised edition 2002); Egypt After Nasser (1989); Madeleine Albright and the New American Diplomacy (2000); Inside the Mirage: America’s Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia (2004), and Arabian Knight: Col. Bill Eddy USMC and the Rise of American Power in the Middle East (2008). His latest book on the future of Saudi Arabia is scheduled for publication in January 2012.

Andrew McGregor

Dr. Andrew McGregor is a Senior Editor for Jamestown’s Global Terrorism Analysis program. He is also the Director of Aberfoyle International Security, a Toronto-based agency specializing in security issues related to the Islamic world. He received a PhD from the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations in 2000 and is a former Research Associate of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. In October 2007 McGregor took over as managing editor of the Jamestown Foundation’s Global Terrorism Analysis publications. He is the author of an archaeological history of Darfur published by Cambridge University in 2001 and publishes frequently on international security issues. His latest book is A Military History of Modern Egypt, published by Praeger Security International in 2006. McGregor provides commentary on military and security issues for newspapers (including the New York Times, USA Today, and The Financial Times), as well as making frequent appearances on radio (BBC, CBC Radio, VOA, Radio Canada International) and television (CBC Newsworld, CTV Newsnet, Foxnews and others).

Babak Rahimi

Babak Rahimi received a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. Rahimi has also studied at the University of Nottingham and London School of Economics and Political Science, U.K. He was a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace from 2005-2006, where he conducted research on Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and Shiite politics in post-Baathist Iraq. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Literature, Program for the Study of Religion, University of California, San Diego.

Bruce Riedel

Bruce Riedel is a Senior Fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He retired in 2006 after 30 years service at the Central Intelligence Agency including postings overseas. Riedel was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to four Presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was a negotiator at several Arab-Israeli peace summits including at Camp David and Wye River. He was also Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels. In January 2009 President Barack Obama asked Mr. Riedel to chair a review of American policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the President announced in a speech on March 27, 2009. He is the author of The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future published by Brookings Press. Riedel teaches at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Michael Ryan

Dr. Michael W. S. Ryan is an independent consultant and researcher on Middle Eastern security issues and a Senior Research Associate at the Jamestown Foundation. 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.

Gary Sick

Gary Sick is a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Middle East Institute and an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs.

Sick served on the National Security Council under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. Sick is a captain (ret.) in the U.S. Navy, with service in the Persian Gulf, North Africa, and the Mediterranean.

From 1982 to 1987, Sick served as deputy director for international affairs at the Ford Foundation, where he was responsible for programs relating to U.S. foreign policy. He is a member (emeritus) of the board of Human Rights Watch in New York and founding chair of its advisory committee on the Middle East and North Africa. He is the executive director of Gulf/2000, an international online research project on political, economic and security developments in the Persian Gulf, being conducted at Columbia University since 1993 with support from a number of major foundations.

Sick was voted one of the top five teachers in 2009 at the School of International and Public Affairs. He is the author of All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter With Iran (Random House 1985) and October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan (Random House 1991).

Gary Sick received his BA from the University of Kansas in 1957; his MS from George Washington University in 1970; and a PhD from Columbia University in 1973.

Camille Tawil

Camille Tawil is a journalist for al-Hayat newspaper in London where he has worked for the past seventeen years. Tawil covers the Middle East and focuses on writing about the activities of militant Islamic groups. He holds a BA in Journalism from the Lebanese University in Beirut, and an MA in Area Studies (Near and Middle East) from the University of London’s School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS). Tawil has written two books in Arabic, the latest of which – Al-Qaeda and its Sisters – The Story of the Arab Jihadists – is being translated into English and will be released later this year. His first book in Arabic was dedicated to Algerian militant groups (The Armed Islamic Movement in Algeria – from the FIS to the GIA).

Alex Vatanka

Alex Vatanka specializes in Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Iran. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Editor of Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, based in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2006, he was a senior political analyst at Jane’s in London where he mainly covered the Middle East. Vatanka joined the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. as a scholar in 2007, and also lectures as a Senior Fellow in Middle East Studies at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS). He has lectured widely for both governmental and commercial audiences, including the U.S. Department of State, various U.S. military branches, U.S. Congressional staff, and Middle Eastern energy firms. Beyond Jane’s and the Middle East Institute, Vatanka has written for such outlets as Christian Science Monitor, Americas Quarterly, the Journal of International Security Affairs, BBC Persian On-line, The World Today, Daily Beast, the Jerusalem Post and the Council on Foreign Relations, and he has frequently appeared in various U.S., European and Middle Eastern media outlets.

Ambassador Marcelle Wahba

Ambassador Marcelle Wahba retired from the U.S. Department of State in April 2008, class of Minister Counselor, after a twenty two-year career spent mostly in the Middle East. Ambassador Wahba was confirmed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Arab Emirates in October 2001 and served in Abu Dhabi till June 2004. For her service in the UAE, Ambassador Wahba received the White House Presidential Meritorious Service Award and was decorated by HH President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with the UAE’s Order of Independence (First Class). Ambassador Wahba served from 2004 to 2006 as the International Affairs Advisor and Deputy at the National War College of the National Defense University. Prior to retiring, she served as the State Department’s Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force at the Pentagon from 2006 to 2008