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. Dania Thafer

Dr. Dania Thafer is the Executive Director of Gulf International Forum, an institute based in Washington, D.C. that provides analysis on political, economic, social, and security issues for the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Iran, Iraq and Yemen. She is also a Professorial Lecturer at the School of Foreign Service’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Her expertise is on the Gulf region’s security, U.S.-Gulf relations, and the political economy of the GCC states.

 

Dr. Thafer has been widely published and consults regularly on matters concerning the GCC and the Middle East. Dr. Thafer has a new book titled “Creative Insecurity: Institutional Inertia and Youth Potential in the GCC” published by Oxford University Press and Hurst Co. (2023). Additionally, she has co-authored two edited books “The Arms Trade, Military Services and the Security Market in the Gulf States: Trends and Implications” and “The Dilemma of Security and Defense in the Gulf Region.” Her commentary has appeared in international media outlets, including:  The New York Times, Financial Times, BBC World, Washington Post, Forbes, Al Jazeera and others. Additionally, she is regularly consulted by governmental, non-governmental, corporations and research institutions globally.

 

Previously, she was responsible for building relationships with foreign dignitaries from the Middle East at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. Dr. Thafer has a master’s degree in political science from New York University, and Ph.D. in Political Science, specialized in the Political Economy and International Relations from American University in Washington, DC.

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.

Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri

Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow. He is the Director of Gulf Studies Center and Associate Professor in Contemporary Politics of the Middle East at Qatar University. Before joining Qatar University in 2010, Dr. Zweiri was Senior Researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan. He was also a Visiting Professor to School of Government & International Affairs at Durham University. From March 2003 to December 2006 he was a Research Fellow and then a Director of the Centre for Iranian Studies in the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. Dr. Zweiri has more than 80 publications in the areas of Iran and Contemporary Middle East history and politics. In addition to Arabic, Dr. Zweiri is fluent in Farsi and English.

Ambassador Patrick N. 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 was born in 1941 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and attended public schools in Michigan, Ohio and the District of Columbia. He 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. Dania Thafer

Dr. Dania Thafer is the Executive Director of Gulf International Forum, an institute based in Washington, D.C. that provides analysis on political, economic, social, and security issues for the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Iran, Iraq and Yemen. She is also a Professorial Lecturer at the School of Foreign Service’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Her expertise is on the Gulf region’s security, U.S.-Gulf relations, and the political economy of the GCC states.

Dr. Thafer has been widely published and consults regularly on matters concerning the GCC and the Middle East. Dr. Thafer has a new book titled “Creative Insecurity: Institutional Inertia and Youth Potential in the GCC” published by Oxford University Press and Hurst Co. (2023). Additionally, she has co-authored two edited books “The Arms Trade, Military Services and the Security Market in the Gulf States: Trends and Implications” and “The Dilemma of Security and Defense in the Gulf Region.” Her commentary has appeared in international media outlets, including:  The New York Times, Financial Times, BBC World, Washington Post, Forbes, Al Jazeera and others. Additionally, she is regularly consulted by governmental, non-governmental, corporations and research institutions globally.

Previously, she was responsible for building relationships with foreign dignitaries from the Middle East at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. Dr. Thafer has a master’s degree in political science from New York University, and Ph.D. in Political Science, specialized in the Political Economy and International Relations from American University in Washington, DC.

Ambassador John Limbert

Ambassador John Limbert is member of the Advisory Board. Ambassador Limbert is a retired Foreign Service Officer and academic. In 2018 he ended twelve years as Class of 1955 Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy. During a 34-year dip­lomatic career, he served mostly in the Middle East and Islamic Africa (including two tours in Iraq). He was Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and served as deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Iranian affairs. Beginning in 1964, he worked in Iran as a university and high school teacher, and later served at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where he was held hostage in 1979-81. He has authored numerous books and articles on Middle Eastern subjects.

 

Dr. Mohammad Alrumaihi

Dr. Mohammad Alrumaihi is member of the Board of Directors at Gulf International Forum and professor of Sociology at Kuwait University. Previously he was an advisor to the Kuwaiti Cabinet, and served as the General Secretary of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) in Kuwait between 1998 and 2011. Dr. Alrumaihi is the founder and editor in chief for daily and monthly publications, and an advisor on various committees on education, journalism, culture and politics for the Kuwaiti government and private institutions in the Gulf region. Dr. Alrumaihi is a member of the board of Diplomatic Institute in Kuwait Foreign Affairs Ministry, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, and Babtain Cultural Foundation. He has written extensively on political sociology and social change in the Gulf region, and cultural changes of Arab world. He has published more than twenty five books. Dr. Alrumaihi served as the Editor in Chief of Awan, a daily Kuwaiti newspaper. Before that Editor in chief of AlArabi Magazine.

 

Previously, Dr. Alrumaihi served as a member of the Advisory Board for the Council of Ministers headed by Kuwait Prime Minister, member of a number of working commissions on education and higher education in the Kuwaiti government, member of the Gulf Studies Center Advisory Board at the American University of Kuwait and member of the Austrian College in Kuwait, as well serving in prize and publication committees of KFAS.

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