World Affairs Discussion Event: Arab Spring – Two Years On

Presenter: Dr. Emile Nakhleh, Retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer (SIS-3) and Research Professor at UNM, a National Intelligence Council (NIC) Associate

Topic:  The Arab Spring At Two:  Lessons, Challenges, and Opportunities

Location:  Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail

Cost: $15 CIR Members and $20 Nonmembers & Guests

As the Arab Spring enters its third year, new Arab democracies are struggling with a myriad of serious issues, which could impact the future success or failure of democratic transitions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and other countries in the region. These issues include governance; Islamic politics; social complexity and diversity of Arab society; human rights and women’s rights; and continued violence and repression in Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere.  A key challenge revolves around job creation and entrepreneurship. The new Arab democracies will have to adopt creative economic policies and promote economic growth to provide jobs for the millions of Arab youth in the new democracies. In the final analysis, an employed population is the backbone of a democratic society. Furthermore, economic prosperity will be critical for the stability and social peace of the new democracies in the Middle East. The presentation will highlight the lessons, challenges, and opportunities for the US and for the region.

Dr. Nakhleh is a retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer (SIS-3), a Research Professor at UNM, a NIC Associate, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since retiring from the U.S. Government in 2006, he has been consulting with different U.S. government entities and departments on national security issues, particularly Islamic radicalization, terrorism, and the Arab states of the Middle East. He has published frequently in the Financial Times and the Inter Press News Service.  At CIA, he was a senior analyst and director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program and of regional analysis in the Middle East. He was awarded several senior commendation and distinguished medals for his service, including the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the Director’s Medal.

Prior to his government service, Dr. Nakhleh was a Professor of Political Science and International Studies and a Department Chair at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. His research and publications have focused on political Islam and Muslim world engagement, Islamic radicalization and terrorism in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world; governance in the greater Middle East; and U.S. policy toward the Middle East and the Muslim world. He holds a Ph.D. from the American University, Washington, DC, in International Relations, an M.A. from Georgetown University in Political Science, and a B.A. from Saint John’s University, Minnesota, in Political Science.  He is the author of numerous academic books and scholarly articles including Bahrain: Political Development in a Modernizing Society (Lexington Books, 2011; originally published in 1976 and translated into Arabic in 2006); A Necessary Engagement:  Reinventing America’s Relations with the Muslim World (Princeton University Press, 2009); “Intelligence Sharing and Co-operation:  Opportunities and Pitfalls,” in Steve Tsang, ed., Combating Transnational Terrorism:  Searching for a New Paradigm (Praeger, 2009); and “Moderates Redefined:  How to Deal with Political Islam,” Current History (December 2009). In January 2010, he gave a testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee titled “Turmoil in Yemen:  How Understanding the Challenges Can Help the U.S. Undermine al-Qa’ida and the Radical Paradigm.”

Dr. Nakhleh’s previous publications include: The Gulf Cooperation Council: Policies, Problems, and Prospects (Praeger, 1986); The Persian Gulf and American Policy (Praeger, 1982); Arab-American Relations in the Persian Gulf (Washington, DC:  American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1975); and The West Bank and Gaza:  Toward the Making of a Palestinian State (Washington, DC:  American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1975).  In 2009 Dr. Nakhleh served on The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Task Force on “Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy” and participated in the writing of the Task Force report titled Engaging Religious Communities Abroad:  A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy (The Chicago Council, 2010). He and his wife, Ilonka Lessnau Nakhleh, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

View recent OP-ED article: Genuine Constitutional Monarchy Is the Only Way Out for Al Khalifa by Dr. Emile Nakhleh by clicking on the following link:

To make reservations for this event, call the CIR Office: (505) 982-4931 or register online below.