Abdelrahman Kamel

Abdelrahman Kamel is a cultural diplomacy specialist with a notable track record of fostering partnerships within the arts, culture, and museum sectors. He currently channels his expertise at the Qatar America Institute for Culture where he contributes to bridging the cultures of Qatar, the United States, and the larger Arab and Islamic world. On the academic front, Abdelrahman embarked on his scholarly journey at Georgetown Qatar’s Culture and Politics program. This was succeeded by specialized studies in Museum and Gallery Practice at the University college of London in Qatar as well as a master’s in Art History from the University of Toronto. In addition to his role at QAIC, Abdelrahman is currently immersed in his doctoral studies in cultural diplomacy at Queen’s University. His professional journey has seen him take on multiple roles, encompassing positions as a teaching, research, curatorial as well as executive assistant. These roles span prestigious institutions, such as Northwestern’s Media Majlis, the Royal Ontario Museum, the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative, and the Canadian committee of the International Council of Museums. Possessing a rich blend of academic knowledge and professional experience, Abdelrahman’s passion is geared towards advocating integration, embracing multiculturalism, and navigating postcolonial narratives within the Middle Eastern cultural milieu. His commitment to advancing the narrative of art and culture in the region is evident through his research and continuous efforts.

Shahd Sharaf

Dr. Ali Alkandari

Dr. Ali Alkandari is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at Gulf International Forum. He is a history professor at Kuwait University specializing in Islamist movements, social transformations, and the contemporary history of the Gulf. Dr. Alkandari holds Masters of Arts in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and received his PhD from the University of Exeter in 2014 in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He is currently the head of Kuwait University Faculty Association KUFA. He also served as a member of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students from 2010 to 2013, serving as its president during his final year. He has appeared widely as a contributor on Gulf media networks, including Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Mont Carlo, and Al Arabi.

Dr. Hind Al Ansari

Dr. Hind Al Ansari is a Non-Resident Fellow at Gulf International Forum. She is a development and global education researcher based in Washington and recently completed a one-year fellowship at the Wilson Center. Dr. Al-Ansari has published multiple articles and has been recognized for her work as a recipient of the Middle East Policy Council 40 Under 40 Award. She holds a PhD in Education from Cambridge University and a Master in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard.

Dr. Daniel Serwer

Professor Daniel Serwer (Ph.D., Princeton) directs the Conflict Management Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a Senior Fellow at its Center for Transatlantic Relations and affiliated as a Scholar with the Middle East Institute. His current interests focus on the civilian instruments needed to protect U.S. national security as well as transition and state-building in the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. His Righting the Balance: How You Can Help Protect America was published in November 2013 by Potomac Books. Formerly vice president for centers of peacebuilding innovation at the United States Institute of Peace, he led teams there working on rule of law, religion, economics, media, technology, security sector governance and gender. He was also vice president for peace and stability operations at USIP, where he led its peacebuilding work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Balkans and served as Executive Director of the Hamilton/Baker Iraq Study Group. Serwer has worked on preventing interethnic and sectarian conflict in Iraq and has facilitated dialogue between Serbs and Albanians in the Balkans. As a minister-counselor at the U.S. Department of State, Serwer directed the European office of intelligence and research and served as U.S. special envoy and coordinator for the Bosnian Federation, mediating between Croats and Muslims and negotiating the first agreement reached at the Dayton peace talks. From 1990 to 1993, he was deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, leading a major diplomatic mission through the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War. Serwer holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Princeton University, an M.S. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Haverford College. He speaks Italian, French and Portuguese, as well as beginning Arabic.

Dr. Mehran Kamrava

Dr. Mehran Kamrava is a Member of the Advisory Board. He is a Professor of Government at Georgetown University Qatar. Dr. Kamrava is the author of a number of journal articles and books, including, most recently, Righteous Politics: Power and Resilience in Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2023); A Dynastic History of Iran: From the Qajars to the Pahlavis (Cambridge University Press, 2022); Triumph and Despair: In Search of Iran’s Islamic Republic (Oxford University Press, 2022); A Concise History of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2020); Troubled Waters: Insecurity in the Persian Gulf (Cornell University Press, 2018); Inside the Arab State (Oxford University Press, 2018); The Impossibility of Palestine: History, Geography, and the Road Ahead (Yale University Press, 2016); Qatar: Small State, Big Politics (Cornell University Press, 2015); The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War3rd ed. (University of California Press, 2013); and Iran’s Intellectual Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2008). His edited books include The Sacred Republic: Power and Institutions in Iran (2020); The Routledge Handbook of Persian Gulf Politics (2020); The Great Game in West Asia: Iran, Turkey, and the Southern Caucasus (2017); Gateways to the World: Port Cities in the Persian Gulf (2016); Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East (2016); Beyond the Arab Spring: The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East (2015); The Political Economy of the Persian Gulf (2012);  The Nuclear Question in the Middle East (2012); and The International Politics of the Persian Gulf (2011). Kamrava is the Series Editor for the Contemporary Issues in the Middle East series of Syracuse University Press, and the Iran from the Pahlavis to the Present series at Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press.

 

Ambassador Patrick Theros

Ambassador Patrick Nickolas Theros is Strategic Advisor and Senior Fellow at Gulf International Forum. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar from 1995-1998. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, responsible for the coordination of all U.S. Government counterterrorism activities outside the United States. From 1991-1993, Ambassador Theros served as the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of Central Command (CENTCOM).

 

Ambassador Theros joined the Foreign Service in 1963, and served in a variety of positions in Washington D.C., Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Nicaragua and Syria, including charge d’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

 

In 1999, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al-Thani awarded Ambassador Theros the Qatar Order of Merit for his efforts in service of the U.S.-Qatar bilateral relationship. His commitment to national service also earned him the President’s Meritorious Service Award and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service (1992). Ambassador Theros has also earned four Superior Honor Awards, the highest awards for distinguished service given by the Foreign Service.

 

After his retirement from the Foreign Service Ambassador Theros assumed the office of President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council in March 2000 until his retirement in 2017.

 

Ambassador Theros’ personal commitment to community and public service earned him the rank of Knight Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem (1999), as well as the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom (2005).

 

In addition to his duties as President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, Ambassador Theros is also active in the following organizations: The Middle East Policy Council, Board of Directors; The Council of Foreign Relations, Member; The Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, Member; and The American Academy of Diplomacy, Member.

 

Ambassador Theros graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1963. He has done advanced studies at the American University in Washington, D.C., the Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua, the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia, and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He is married to Aspasia (nee Pahigiannis) and has three children. He speaks and reads Spanish, Arabic and Greek professionally.

Dr. Yagoub Y. Al-Kandari

Dr. Yagoub Al-Kandari is member of the Advisory Board. Dr. Al-Kandari is a Professor of Sociology and Anthropology. He is the Director of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Center in Kuwait University. He was the former Dean of the College of Social Sciences. Dr. Al-Kindari was a Chief Editor of several academic journals and research centers in the GCC states. Also, he served as Dean Assistant of College of Graduate Studies of Academic and Acting Chair of Sociology and Social Work Department at Kuwait University. He has 145 published works (30 books and has 70 published scientific papers in refereed journals with many other publications in conferences proceedings). Dr. Al-Kandari is a member of many local, regional, and international associations. He received his Master and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University, USA, Major in Anthropology. He is the Recipient of six scientific awards; one of them is the State Award for Scientific Production Award.

H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada

His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada is member of the Advisory Board. His Excellency was Minister of Energy and industry and Chairman of the Board of Qatar Petroleum during the period from 2011 to 2018.  He was also Managing Director of QP during the period from 2011 – 2014. Earlier, from 2007 to 2011, H.E. was Minister of State for Energy and Industry Affairs and Member of the Cabinet.

During his tenure, His Excellency assumed leading roles in various government and semi-government organizations. He was a member of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, Chairman of RasGas, Chairman of Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd. (NAKILAT) and Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC). H.E. was also the Chairman of the Permanent Water Resources Committee (PWRC) at Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa).

H.E. Dr. Al-Sada has over 35 years of experience in the energy sector.  In 1983, he joined Qatar Petroleum (QP) and started a lifetime career in the oil and gas business. He moved up the corporate ladder and assumed a number of managerial positions. In 1997, he was appointed QP Technical Director, where he successfully directed the execution of a number of major oil, gas and infrastructure projects. In 2006, he was appointed Managing Director of RasGas Company Limited (RasGas).

In 2017, the Energy Institute of the UK presented Dr. Al-Sada with The International “Oil Diplomacy Man of the Year” Award. The award was in appreciation of Dr. Al-Sada’s efforts and contribution to the restoration of balance to the oil market during Qatar’s tenure as President of OPEC Conference in 2016.

In November 2020, His Majesty Emperor Naruhito of Japan awarded HE Dr. Al-Sada the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest decoration conferred by the Japanese Government, for his efforts in developing and further strengthening friendship and cooperation between Qatar and Japan. His Excellency currently holds the position of “Chairman of Qatar Solar Technologies” (QSTec).

An active member of the Qatari community, His Excellency was a member of the Qatar Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Joint Advisory Board (JAB) at Texas A & M University Qatar (TAMUQ) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Doha for Science and Technology. And a member of the Advisory Board of GCC Supreme Council.  He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Children’s Museum,  and He was the Chairman of the Qatar University Alumni Association.

H.E. Dr. Al-Sada was a founding member of the National Committee for Human Rights. He also served as a member of the Permanent Constitution Preparation Committee and the Supreme Education Council.

His Excellency holds an MSc degree and a PhD from the University of Manchester in the UK and a BSc degree in Marine Science and Geology from Qatar University.

His Excellency is married and has five children.

Dr. Baqer Al Najjar

Dr. Baqer Al Najjar is member of the Advisory Board. Previously, he served as a Member of Bahrain Shura Council, Dean and Professor of Sociology at the University of Bahrain. He is one of the most prominent Arab authors in Sociology; some of his books are; “Voluntary Social Work in the Arabian Gulf,” 1988, “Labor Productivity in the Industrial Sector in Bahrain,” 1993, “Sociology of the Arab Community in the Gulf, Women and the Modernization,” 2000, and “Religious Movements in the Arabian Gulf,” 2007. Dr. Al Najjar holds PhD in Sociology from University of Durham.

Sheikh Abdulla Al-Ali Al Sabah

Sheikh Abdulla Al-Ali AlSabah is member of the Advisory Board. AlSabah is a Kuwaiti academic and researcher. He holds MSc in Middle East politics from the University of London and received his MA in International Relations from Kuwait University. Al Sabah researches and writes on the geopolitics of the Gulf region. Al-Sabah has participated in many seminars and conferences related to Middle East politics.

Dr. Abdulaziz Sager

Dr. Abdulaziz Sager is a member of the Advisory Board. Dr. Sager is a Saudi strategic expert specializing in international politics and regional security issues relating to the Middle East and North Africa region. Dr. Sager is the founder and chairman of the Gulf Research Center. Dr. Sager is a member of various councils, advisory and academic committees, institutes, and international research centers. He is also a guest professor at several universities.

Dr. Sager participates in a wide range of international and regional conferences that address issues pertaining to the Gulf region. Notably, he has authored and edited numerous publications and has many articles in local and international newspapers relating to Gulf affairs and regional issues, and he frequently contributes to major international media outlets. He is also the editor-in-chief of both Araa, a monthly Arabic-language magazine focused on Gulf affairs, and The Gulf Yearbook.

Dr. Sager holds a PhD in politics and international relations from Lancaster University, a master’s degree from the University of Kent, and a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Economics and Administration at King Abdulaziz University.

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