Board of Directors

Stephen Grand (Chairperson)
Executive Director, Middle East Strategy Task Force, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council

Stephen Grand is the Executive Director of Middle East Strategy Task Force at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, housed within the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. From 2004-2006, he was director of The Aspen Institute’s Middle East Strategy Group (MESG). He has also served as an adjunct professor at American University’s School of International Service and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Grand earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. in Political Science from the Government Honors Program at the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar. He has been a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Henry Crown Fellow with The Aspen Institute.

Andrew Albertson
Management Associate, Creative Associates

Andrew Albertson is a Management Associate at Creative Associates, where he supports the MEPI-funded Community Driven Grants Program in Libya, among other projects. He was the founding executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), serving from 2007-2010. Prior to that, he was a congressional fellow in the office of Congressman Steve Israel and directed the fellows program at the Truman National Security Project. Originally from Cincinnati, Albertson attended Taylor University in Indiana. He received an MSFS degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he was the Huffington Fellow at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

J. Scott Carpenter
Managing Director, Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas)

J. Scott Carpenter is the Managing Director at Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas), part of Google. Previously, Carpenter was an adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. As the Institute’s Keston Family fellow from 2007-2011, Mr. Carpenter was the founding director of Project Fikra, which focuses on empowering Arab democrats in their struggle against extremism.  Prior to his time at the the Washington Institute, Carpenter served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. He was coordinator for the State Department’s Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives and was the director of the governance group for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, guiding Iraq’s postwar political transition and initiated a wide array of democracy initiatives. Before this, he served as a key advisor to CPA administrator L. Paul Bremer, facilitating the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council and the first post-Saddam Hussein cabinet, the drafting and signing of Iraq’s interim constitution.  Before serving in Iraq, Mr. Carpenter was deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor where he was the bureau’s point person on a number of countries critical to U.S. democracy promotion and human rights policy. Before joining the State Department, Mr. Carpenter worked with the International Republican Institute (IRI), he established and served as co-director of IRI’s Central and Eastern Europe regional office.  Mr. Carpenter also worked on the North American Free Trade Area desk at the International Trade Agency. On Capitol Hill, he worked as press secretary for Congressman Duncan Hunter of California and as a legislative assistant to Congressman Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Mr. Carpenter holds a graduate degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in economics and European studies. He received undergraduate degrees in political science and history from Hope College in Michigan.

Michele Dunne
Director & Senior Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Michele Dunne is currently a director and senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dunne formerly served as the director of the Rafik Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. Dr. Dunne has also served in the White House on the National Security Council staff, on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff and in its Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and as a diplomat in Cairo and Jerusalem. She holds a doctorate in Arabic language and linguistics from Georgetown University, where she has served as a visiting professor of Arabic and Arab studies. Her research interests include Arab politics, political transitions, economic reform, Egypt, Israeli-Palestinian issues, and US and European policies in the Middle East. She co-chairs the Working Group on Egypt, a bipartisan group of experts established in February 2010 to mobilize US government attention to the forces of change in that country.

Shadi Hamid
Senior Fellow, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution

Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He previously served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center. His research focuses on Islamist political parties and democratic reform in the Arab world. Prior to joining Brookings, he was director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.  He has also served as a program specialist on public diplomacy at the U.S. State Department and a legislative fellow in the Office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Hamid received his B.S. and M.A. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and his PhD in political science from Oxford University. He is currently Vice-Chair of POMED, a member of the World Bank’s MENA Advisory Panel, and a correspondent for The Atlantic.

Steven Heydemann
Janet Wright Ketcham ’53 Chair in Middle East Studies, Smith College
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution

Steven Heydemann is the Janet Wright Ketcham ’53 Chair in Middle East Studies at Smith College and is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. From 2007-2015, he served as vice president of Applied Research on Conflict and senior advisor for the Middle East at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prior to joining USIP, he was director of the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University.  From 1997 to 2001, he was an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. Earlier, from 1990-1997, he directed the Social Science Research Council’s Program on International Peace and Security and its Program on the Near and Middle East. Heydemann is a political scientist who specializes in the comparative politics and the political economy of the Middle East, with a particular focus on Syria. His interests include authoritarian governance, economic development, social policy, political and economic reform and civil society.  His publications include “Authoritarian Learning and Counterrevolution,” in The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East, ed. Marc Lynch (Columbia University Press, 2014, with Reinoud Leenders); Middle East Authoritarianisms:  Governance, Contestation, and Regime Resilience in Syria and Iran (Stanford University Press, 2013, co-edited with Reinoud Leenders); Syria’s Uprising: Sectarianism, Regionalisation, and State Order in  the Levant, FRIDE, Working Paper No. 113 (May, 2013); Upgrading Authoritarianism in the Arab World. Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Analysis Paper No. 14 (The Brookings Institution, 2007); and Authoritarianism in Syria: Institutions and Social Conflict (Cornell University Press, 1999).

Lionel Johnson
President, Pacific Pension & Investment Institute

Lionel C. Johnson is currently the President of the Pacific Pension & Investment Institute. He formerly served as senior vice president of the Initiative for Global Development, a nonprofit organization that drives poverty reduction by catalyzing impactful business growth and investment in the developing world. Previously, he served as vice president for Turkey, Middle East and North Africa Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as senior vice president for Public Affairs for Fleishman-Hillard, vice president for International Government Affairs at Citi, Inc., deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Kenya, the Philippines, and Haiti, and as an assistant to three Secretaries of State. He currently also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Guilford College, a board member of the United States Committee for the UNDP, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation.

Jim Kolbe
Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1985-2007

Jim Kolbe is a retired Member of Congress and currently serves as Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  He advises on trade matters as well as issues of effectiveness of U.S. assistance to foreign countries, on U.S.-EU relationships, and on migration and its relationship to development. He is co-chair of the Transatlantic Taskforce on Development with Gunilla Carlsson, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation.  The Taskforce consists of experts from both sides of the Atlantic from governments, NGOs, foundations and corporations, making strategic recommendations on development for the American administration as well as to European audiences. He also serves as an a strategic consultant with McLarty Associates, as a member of the Board of Directors of Freedom House and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. For 22 years, Jim Kolbe served in the United States House of Representatives, elected for eleven consecutive terms, from 1985 to 2007. Kolbe graduated from Northwestern University with a BA degree in Political Science and then from Stanford University with an MBA and a concentration in economics.

Thomas O. Melia
Fellow, George W. Bush Institute, USAID Assistant Administrator (2015-2017)

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.

Thomas O. Melia is a Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, where he is helping to lead a bipartisan effort to reinvigorate American leadership in support of democracy and free trade globally. He previously served in two senior positions in the Obama Administration, as Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia at the United States Agency for International Development (2015-2017) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (2010-2015) where he oversaw the bureau’s work in the Middle East and other regions. Previous positions include Executive Director of Democracy International; Deputy Executive Director of Freedom House; Vice President for Programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he launched the Institute’s work in the Middle East; and Senior Legislative Assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). He has taught in the Master’s programs at Georgetown University and The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Melia received his MA from SAIS and his BA in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University.

Kori Schake
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She has served in various policy roles including at the White House for the National Security Council; at the Department of Defense for the Office of the Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff; and at the State Department for the Policy Planning Staff. During the 2008 presidential election, she was Senior Policy Advisor on the McCain-Palin campaign. She is the editor, with Jim Mattis, of the book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military. She teaches Thinking About War at Stanford, is a contributing editor at the Atlantic, and also writes for War on the Rocks and Foreign Policy. Schake earned her PhD in government from the University of Maryland, and holds Masters degrees in government and public affairs. She has been profiled in publications ranging from national news to popular culture including the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and Vogue Magazine.

Deena Shakir
Business Development Manager, Google

Deena Shakir joined Google in 2012. As a business development manager, Deena leads strategic partnerships for new products, including expansion efforts and new product lines for Google Fiber. She previously spearheaded business development for the health vertical for Helpouts and managed strategic partnerships for Google.org, where she was responsible for managing a multi-million dollar deal portfolio.

Prior to joining Google, she worked for the Obama administration as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of Secretary Clinton and previously at USAID’s Global Development Alliance. At the State Department, Shakir served as a Senior Partnerships Advisor in the Secretary’s Office and the inter-agency’s lead on diaspora engagement. Shakir was an Aga Khan USA Fellow at the Aspen Institute’s Program on Nonprofit and Social Innovation, where she supported the Global Philanthropy Program. She also covered the White House for BBC News and was the Lead Anchor for a bilingual news show on Al Arabiya. Trilingual in Arabic, French, and English, she has worked and studied in the UAE, Egypt, and France.

Shakir served on the Board of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association, where she led their effort to recruit students from the Arab world and launched their first public service fellowship. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Tech Wadi, the Abraham Path Initiative, the Harvard Alumni Association, the Arab Film Festival, and the Asian University for Women. She holds a joint BA in Social Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard College and an MA from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Michael Shor
Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Michael Shor has over 30 years experience representing private parties and foreign governments in international trade disputes and negotiations, international investment disputes, and in counseling companies on customs compliance and other import-related issues. With regard to trade remedies, he has handled scores of unfair trade investigations, both in the United States and in foreign countries, including antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and reviews, injury investigations, sunset reviews, safeguards, section 301, and section 332 investigations. He has represented companies or governments in Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Turkey, and the United States concerning agricultural products, chemicals, consumer electronics, semi-processed metals, paper products, and other manufactured products. He has had notable success in obtaining novel solutions for industries and products requiring departures from traditional agency methodologies, and in crafting creative settlements to trade disputes.

He has been lead counsel in some 40 appeals of US international trade decisions before US courts and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panels. He has worked with both foreign governments and private parties in World Trade Organization (WTO) panel and appellate body proceedings. Mr. Shor also handles investment disputes and investor-state arbitrations, obtaining the largest award to date in any NAFTA investment dispute, through settlement. On the compliance side, Mr. Shor represents clients in customs investigations and audits, and advises importers on routine compliance issues, including the requirements of NAFTA and other duty preference regimes, tariff classification, valuation, and country of origin marking.

Shor served as a legal assistant at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, The Hague, the Netherlands, from 1984-1986.