Our leadership and fellows

Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a Middle East analyst and a journalist.

Founder and Executive Director

Dave McAvoy is an expert on the Arabic-language media based in London 

Senior Fellow 

Fellow

Laura Kelly is a Washington D.C.-based journalist who has reported from around the world

Fellow

Sirwan Kajjo is a Kurdish affairs analyst and a journalist based in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Seth J. Frantzman is an expert in the war on ISIS and has covered Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.  

Founder and Executive Director

Senior Fellow 

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's research interests primarily concern Iraq and Syria, focusing on armed groups on all sides of the conflict.

Alex Grinberg is an Iran expert. He is fluent in Arabic, Farsi, French, English, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew.

Senior Fellow 

Board of Advisors 

Barbara Opall-Rome, a veteran reporter and Mideast security analyst, heads the Israel Bureau of Defense News, an international weekly based in the Washington, DC area. She is executive editor and host of Strictly Security, a weekly feature show on i24News. 

Dr. Eric Mandel is the Director of MEPIN™, the Middle East Political Information Network™. Dr. Mandel regularly briefs members of Congress and their staffs about the current geo-political situation in the Middle East. 

J.I. Abbot is professor of English and philosophy at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, Connecticut. He is an essayist and translator with a focus on comparative religion and literature, utilizing strategies of the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, law and literature movement, and the philosophy of science. His website is www.jiabbot.com

Alberto M. Fernandez is President of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN). He previously served as US Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea and Charge d’Affaires to Sudan. He served as a diplomat at US embassies in Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria, Guatemala, Kuwait, and in the Department’s Near East Affairs (NEA) Bureau.

Benjamin Weinthall is a European correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

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