Middle East political analysts

27 September 2011

Six commentators of political events in the region: Madawi al-Rasheed, Steffen Hertog, Suzanne Maloney, Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi and Yezid Sayigh

Madawi al-Rasheed

Position: Professor of anthropology of religion, King’s College, University of London

Biography:Madawi al-Rasheed is a Saudi Arabia-born academic, who is one of the world’s leading experts on political, social and religious life in Saudi Arabia. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from the University of Salford in the UK. Al-Rasheed has also completed both a master’s degree and a doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. After a year as a researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies from 1989-1990, she worked part time at both the University of Oxford and Goldsmiths College. From 1991-94, she was a research fellow at Oxford. In 1994, she moved to King’s College where she has worked as a lecturer, senior lecturer and professor. In 2009, she published her eighth book. She has been an active commentator on the Arab uprisings and particularly on its implications for Saudi Arabia.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7848 2623

Steffen Hertog

Position: Lecturer, comparative politics, London School of Economics

Biography: Steffen Hertog is a lecturer in comparative politics at the London School of Economics’ Department of Government, having joined the department in 2010. He is a leading authority on the political economy of the Gulf states, and in January 2010 published Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats: Oil and the State in Saudi Arabia. He has been a leading analyst and commentator on the economic cost to the GCC states due to the regional unrest. Until 2010, Hertog was Kuwait professor at France’s Sciences Po Paris school and a lecturer in political economy at the University of Durham in the UK. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Bonn and the School of Oriental African Studies and has completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford. Among Hertog’s most noted work is a series of papers on the links between education in engineering and Islamic radicalism.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7955 7196

Suzanne Maloney

Position: Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

Biography: Suzanne Maloney has been a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Washington-based Brookings Institute’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy since 2007. Maloney largely focuses on Iran’s internal politics and foreign policy. Before joining Brookings, she worked as policy planner in the US’ Department of State and as a Middle East analyst at the US’ ExxonMobil. From 2003-04, she directed the Council for Foreign Relations’ US-Iran taskforce. Maloney holds a doctorate in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the US, where she also completed a master’s degree in international relations. In 2008, she published Iran’s Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World. She regularly writes analysis and comment articles for academic journals and major newspapers. Her recent work was on how Iran has capitalised on the Arab uprisings.    

Contact Tel: (+1) 202 797 6105

Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi

Position: Fellow, Dubai School of Government

Biography:Sultan Saood al-Qassemi is a Dubai-based political analyst, who has risen to prominence in recent years thanks to a series of editorial columns in the Abu Dhabi-headquartered newspaper The National. He was also an early adopter of the social networking tool Twitter to comment on current affairs in the region. Al-Qassemi joined the Dubai School of Government in May 2009 after more than a decade of work in the private sector, having founded a trading and investment firm, Al-Saud Company, in 1998. He also acted as chairman of Barjeel Geojit Securities since 2001. He holds a master’s degree in global banking and finance from the European Business School and a bachelor’s degree in international business administration from the American University of Paris. Al-Qassemi has recently been engaged in a series of lectures and articles on the role of social media in the Middle East.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 329 3290

Yezid Sayigh

Position: Professor, Middle East studies, King’s College London

Biography: Yezid Sayigh is a former negotiator and professor of Middle East studies at King’s College London. He is one of the most noted commentators on the Palestinian quest for statehood. His 1997 book, Armed Struggle and the Search for a State: The Palestinian National Movement, is considered to be one of the most important texts written on the subject to date. Sayigh sits on the academic board of the Gulf Research Center and the board of trustees for the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the American University of Beirut and a doctorate in war studies from King’s College. Between 1994 and 2003, he was assistant director of the Center for International Studies at Cambridge University. He was a negotiator in talks that led to the 1994 Cairo Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7848 1156

Ginny Hill

Position: Associate fellow, Chatham House

Biography: Ginny Hill is an associate fellow at UK-based think-tank Chatham House and heads its Yemen Forum. She has been a leading analyst and commentator on Yemen as the country has risen to international prominence in recent years. A former news editor, she worked for UK television channel ITV from 2000 to 2002 after which she produced the current affairs programme David Dimbleby. From 2006-08, she was the BBC’s Yemen correspondent, a period during which she produced an award-winning documentary on the country for French TV. From 2008-09, she worked at Doha-based Al-Jazeera English. Her 2007 Chatham House briefing paper Yemen: Fear of Failure set out a number of the issues facing Yemen from its weak economy to the rise of Islamic fundamentalist groups in the country. She also writes comment pieces for international media, including the BBC and The Guardian newspaper.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7314 3624

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