Board of Advisers

Members of POMED’s Board of Advisers lend strategic and developmental expertise and guidance to the organization. The Board of Advisers includes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting democracy in the Middle East and/or to examining America’s impact on political reform in the region.


Thomas Carothers
Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Thomas Carothers is Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founder and director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and oversees Carnegie Europe in Brussels. Carothers is a leading authority on international support for democracy, rights, and governance and on comparative democratization as well as an expert on U.S. foreign policy. He has worked on democracy-assistance projects for many public and private organizations and carried out extensive field research on international aid efforts around the world. In addition, he has broad experience in matters dealing with human rights, the rule of law, civil society building, and think tank development in transitional and developing countries.He is the author of six critically acclaimed books as well as many articles in prominent journals and newspapers. Carothers has also worked extensively with the Open Society Foundations (OSF), including currently as chair of the OSF Think Tank Fund and previously as chair of the OSF Global Advisory Board. He is an adjunct professor at the Central European University in Budapest and was previously a visiting faculty member at Nuffield College, Oxford University, and Johns Hopkins SAIS.Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment, Carothers practiced international and financial law at Arnold & Porter and served as an attorney adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State.

Wendy Chamberlin
President, Middle East Institute

Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin has been President of the Middle East Institute since March 2007. A 29-year veteran of the US Foreign Service, she served as US Ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002.

Chamberlin has extensive experience in counter-terrorism, having served as director of Global Affairs and Counter-Terrorism at the National Security Council (1991-1993) and as deputy in the Bureau of International Counter-Narcotics and Law Programs (1999-2001).

As assistant administrator in the Asia-Near East Bureau for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2002 to 2004, Ambassador Chamberlin directed civilian reconstruction programs in Iraq and Afghanistan and development assistance programs in the Middle East and East Asia.

Other assignments included US Ambassador to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic (1996-1999), Director of Press and Public Affairs for the Near East Bureau (1991-1993), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur (1993-1996), Arab-Israeli Affairs (1982-1984) and other postings in Morocco, Pakistan, Malaysia, Laos and Zaire. Prior to joining MEI, Chamberlin served as Deputy High Commissioner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2004-2006).

A graduate of Northwestern University, Chamberlin has a MS in Education from Boston University and participated in the Executive Program at Harvard University. She also holds an honorary PhD from Northwestern University.

Steven Clemons
Senior Fellow, International Security Program, New America Foundation

Steven Clemons is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, where he previously served as executive vice president.

Publisher of the popular political blog The Washington Note, Mr. Clemons is a long-term policy practitioner and entrepreneur in Washington, D.C. He has served as executive vice president of the Economic Strategy Institute, senior policy advisor on Economic and International Affairs to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and was the first executive director of the Nixon Center.

Prior to moving to Washington, Mr. Clemons served for seven years as executive director of the Japan America Society of Southern California, and co-founded with Chalmers Johnson the Japan Policy Research Institute, of which he is still director. He is a member of the board of the Clarke Center at Dickinson College, a liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pa., as well as an Advisory Board member of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. He is also a board member of the Global Policy Innovations Program at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs and on the advisory board of the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association.

Mr. Clemons writes frequently on matters of foreign policy, defense, and international economic policy. His work has appeared in many of the major leading op-ed pages, journals, and magazines around the world.

Lorne Craner
Co-Director, Transatlantic Renewal Initiative, George W. Bush Presidential Center

Lorne Craner is a co-Director of the Transatlantic Renewal Initiative, a new organization dedicated to reviving US ties with Central and Eastern Europe. Craner stepped down in 2014 as president of the International Republican Institute, a position he had held since 2004. He was also IRI’s president from 1995-2001 and its vice president from 1992-95. Craner served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in the first term of the George W. Bush administration. Upon his departure, he received the State Department’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, from Secretary Colin Powell. His other government service includes Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council under General Brent Scowcroft, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under James Baker, both in the George H.W. Bush administration. Craner began his career on Capitol Hill, working for Senator John McCain and for Congressman Jim Kolbe in the 1980s. A graduate of Georgetown University (MA) and Reed College (BA), Craner is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Larry Diamond
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Larry Diamond is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy, and co-director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. He has also advised the U.S. Agency for International Development (whose 2002 report, Foreign Aid in the National Interest, he co-authored), the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations. His book The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008) explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the future prospects of democracy.

Diamond is professor by courtesy of political science and sociology at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on democratic development and coordinates the democracy program of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. In 2007, he was named Teacher of the Year by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers.” That year he also received Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Award for “his inspired teaching and commitment to undergraduate education” and “for the example he sets as a scholar and public intellectual.”

During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. Since then, he has lectured and written on U.S. policy in Iraq and the wider challenges of postconflict reconstruction. He has also participated in policy working groups on Iraq and the Middle East, and, with Abbas Milani and Michael McFaul, he coordinates Hoover’s Iran Democracy Project.

Among his other published works are Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq (Times Books, 2005), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He recently edited the books Islam and Democracy in the Middle East (with Marc F. Plattner and Daniel Brumberg), Assessing the Quality of Democracy (with Leonardo Morlino), The State of India’s Democracy (with Marc Plattner and Sumit Ganguly), and Democracy in Developing Countries, with Juan Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset.

Haleh Esfandiari
Public Policy Fellow, Middle East Program, Wilson Center

Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, the former and founding Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, is a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center. In her native Iran, she was a journalist, served as deputy secretary general of the Women’s Organization of Iran, and was the deputy director of a cultural foundation where she was responsible for the activities of several museums and art and cultural centers. She taught Persian language at Oxford University and, prior to coming to the Wilson Center, from 1980 to 1994, she taught Persian language, contemporary Persian literature, and courses on the women’s movement in Iran at Princeton University. Dr. Esfandiari was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 1995 to 1996.

Haleh Esfandiari is the author of My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran (September 2009), Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran’s Islamic Revolution (1997), editor of Iranian Women: Past, Present and Future (1977), co-author of Best Practices: Progressive Family Laws in Muslim Countries, the co-editor of The Economic Dimensions of Middle Eastern History (1990) and also of the of the multi-volume memoirs of the famed Iranian scholar, Ghassem Ghani. Her articles have appeared in essay collections in a number of books as well as in Foreign Policy, Journal of Democracy, Princeton Papers in Near Eastern Studies, New Republic, Wilson Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education and Middle East Review.

Haleh Esfandiari is the first recipient of a yearly award established in her name, the Haleh Esfandiari Award; this award was presented to her by a group of businesswomen and activists from countries across the Middle East and North Africa region on the occasion of a conference sponsored by the Wilson Center – Women Entrepreneurs: Business and Legal Reform in the MENA Region – held in Amman, Jordan in May 2008. Her other awards include: a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant (1997); the Special American Red Cross Award (2008); the Women’s Equality Award from the National Council of Women’s Organizations (2008); and Miss Hall’s School Woman of Distinction Award (2009). In December 2008, she became one of three first annual recipients of the Project on Middle East Democracy’s “Leader for Democracy” award.

Dr. Esfandiari received her Ph.D. from the University of Vienna. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Esfandiari serves on the Board of the Peace Research Endowment and on the board of advisors for the Project on Middle East Democracy. She was featured in Parade magazine (May 2008), in O, the Oprah Winfrey magazine (November 2008), and in Vogue magazine (August 2009).

Her memoir, My Prison, My Home, based on Esfandiari’s arrest by the Iranian security authorities in 2007, after which she spent 105 days in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Prison, was published in September 2009 by Ecco Press, an imprint of Harper Collins. The paperback edition was released in October 2010.

Noah Feldman
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard University

Noah Feldman specializes in constitutional studies, with particular emphasis on the relationship between law and religion, constitutional design, and the history of legal theory. Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, he is also a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard. In 2003 he served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of the Transitional Administrative Law or interim constitution. He received his A.B. summa cum laude in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 1992. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from Oxford University in 1994.  From 1999 to 2002, he was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard.  Before that he served as a law clerk to Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court (1998 to 1999) and to Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1997 to 1998).He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1997, serving as Book Reviews Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is the author of seven books: Cool War: The Future of Global Competition (Random House, 2013); Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices (Twelve Publishing, 2010); The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (Princeton University Press, 2008); Divided By God: America’s Church-State Problem and What We Should Do About It (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2005); What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building (Princeton University Press 2004); and After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2003). He most recently co-authored Constitutional Law, Eighteenth Edition (Foundation Press, 2013) with Kathleen Sullivan.

Mary Gray
Professor, Department of Mathematics, American University

Mary Gray is chair of the Board of Directors of AMIDEAST, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa.

Gray has been chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA, International Treasurer of Amnesty International, and chair of its international Development Committee. She has also been a member of boards and committees of such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Middle East Education Foundation, and the American Association of University Professors. Gray was the first president of the Association for Women in Mathematics. President Bush awarded her the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Mentoring.

Gray has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Karim Rida Said Foundation in London. In 2003 she worked on a USAID project on education in Iraq and is currently a consultant to the Kurdistan Regional Government on statistics and information technology.

Gray has previously taught at the University of Kansas, the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Hayward. Her undergraduate degree is from Hastings College, her Ph.D. is from the University of Kansas, and she has studied in Germany on a Fulbright grant. She also has a J.D. degree from Washington College of Law, American University and is a member of the District of Columbia and U.S. Supreme Court bars. She has been awarded honorary degrees by the University of Nebraska and Hastings College.

Jim Moody
Member of the United States House of Representatives, 1983-1993

Jim Moody has extensive financial and economic experience. In 2000 he became a Senior Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, in 2005, he moved to Merrill Lynch as Financial Advisor and Vice President. In 2012, he became Associate Director – Investments at Oppenheimer & Co..

From 1998 to 2000, Moody served as President and CEO of InterAction, an association of 165 international NGOs working in the fields of disaster relief, refugee assistance and economic development located in Washington, D.C., and from 1995 to 1998 as Vice President and CFO of the International Fund for Agriculture, a United Nations agency based in Rome, Italy.

As a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Wisconsin from 1983 to 1993, Moody served on the Subcommittees of Heath, Social Security, Infrastructure and Water Resources of the Ways and Means and Public Works Committees. Moody has taught at several campuses, including University of California in Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School and New York University.

He received his B.A. from Haverford College, his MPA from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Moody served in the Peace Corps and CARE in Yugoslavia, Iran, and Pakistan.

Kenneth Wollack
President, National Democratic Institute

Kenneth Wollack is president of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). He has been actively involved in foreign affairs, journalism and politics since 1972. Mr. Wollack joined NDI in 1986 as executive vice president. The Institute’s board of directors, then chaired by former Vice President Walter Mondale, elected him president in March 1993. Mr. Wollack has traveled extensively in Eastern and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa on behalf of the Institute’s political development programs. Now chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the Institute maintains offices in more than 60 countries and works to support democratic elections, political parties, parliaments, civic engagement and women’s political empowerment.

Before joining NDI, Mr. Wollack co-edited the Middle East Policy Survey, a Washington-based newsletter. He also wrote regularly on foreign affairs for the Los Angeles Times. From 1973 to 1980, he served as legislative director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Mr. Wollack has been active in American politics, serving on the national staff of the McGovern presidential campaign in 1972. He graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and was a senior fellow at UCLA’s School for Public Affairs.

Mr. Wollack currently is a member of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid and is the chairman of the board of directors for the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Development Programme. He has testified in numerous occasions before Congressional committees, appeared on national television and radio, and spoken before world affairs councils across the country. He has served on various Task Forces sponsored by the Brookings Institute, the US Institute for Peace, the council on Foreign Relations, and the Center for Global Engagement.

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