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.

Munya Yusuf

Shahd Sharaf

Matthew Levy

Ralph Quiambao

Ahmed Okbelbab

Babiker Elhassan

Moustafa Amar

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.

Anas Alqaed

Anas Alqaed is the Director of Programs at Gulf International Forum. In addition to his role, he has conducted extensive research on political and social changes in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, and the power and influence of paramilitary groups throughout the Middle East. Before joining the Gulf International Forum, Anas worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 10 years in Syria IDP Operation, Iraq Refugee Operation, and Libya Refugee Operation. At UNHCR, he specialized in refugee community resilience, capacity-building for governmental and non-governmental organizations, and community mobilization. Anas holds Master’s in International Public Policy with Middle East concentration from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Trevor Filseth

Trevor Filseth is the editor at the Gulf International Forum. He has also worked as a foreign affairs writer for The National Interest, and his writing has been featured on 19FortyFive and Al-Hurra TV. He received his master’s degree from Brandeis University in 2022.

Subscribe to Receive Latest Updates from GIF.