The Kurdish Crisis: Baghdad, Erbil, and Institutional Reform in Iraq

October 10, 2017 - 11:00 am

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th ST NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC
The Kurdish Crisis: Baghdad, Erbil, and Institutional Reform in Iraq

Dr. Harith Hasan Al Qarawee
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

Amb. Stuart Jones
Former US Ambassador to Iraq and Former Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near East Affairs, US Department of State

Dr. Denise Natali
Director, Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies
National Defense University 

Moderated by
Amb. Frederic C. Hof
Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

The ongoing tension between the Kurdistan regional government and the federal government in Baghdad are generating new concerns about the long term stability of Iraq. Critical issues relating to energy, security, and institutions must be addressed in order to prevent further conflicts and promote economic development. Please join us for a discussion on these topics. The panelists will address the energy aspects of the crisis, the security dimensions, the prospects for institutional reform, and the role the United States should play to help resolve the conflict.

On Twitter? Follow @ACMideast and use #ACIraq

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record. 

Light refreshments will be served.


Dr. Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee is a nonresident senior fellow at the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He is also a fellow at the Center of Religious Studies at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. He holds a PhD in political science from Sant'Anna School for Advanced Studies in Italy, an MA in political communication from Leeds University, and an MA in political science from Baghdad University. He was formerly a lecturer and teaching assistant at Baghdad University and a fellow at Harvard University and Brandeis University. His research focuses on state-society relations, political transitions, and identity politics in Iraq and the Middle East. He has written extensively for various English and Arabic publications and journals and is currently writing a book on ShiaReligious Authority and State in post-Saddam Iraq. He was a member of the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on the Future of Iraq chaired by Ambassador Ryan Crocker as well as a CEU research team studying state, religion and disintegration in the Middle East.  

Ambassador Stuart E. Jones was formerly a career member of the US Foreign Service and was appointed acting assistant secretary of state for the Near East Affairs Bureau in January 2017. Ambassador Jones had previously served as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state since October 2016. Ambassador Jones previously served as US ambassador to Iraq from 2014-2016 and as ambassador to Jordan from 2011-2014. Ambassador Jones has extensive experience in Iraq. He was deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in Baghdad in 2010-2011, governorate coordinator in Al Anbar province in 2004, and country director for Iraq at the National Security Council. From 2008-2010, Ambassador Jones also served as deputy assistant secretary of state at the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Prior to that, he served as deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Other foreign tours include Turkey, El Salvador and Colombia and he was special assistant to the US permanent representative to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright. Ambassador Jones is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Dr. Denise Natali is the director and distinguished research fellow of the Center for Strategic Research at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) where she specializes on the Middle East, Iraq, trans-border Kurdish issue, and post-conflict stabilization. Dr. Natali joined INSS in January 2011 as the Minerva Chair, following more than two decades of researching and working in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Her books include; The Kurdish Quasi-State: Development and Dependency in Post-Gulf War Iraq and The Kurds and the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, which was the recipient of the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title. Dr. Natali is currently writing a second edition of The Kurds and the State to include chapters on Syria. Dr. Natali received a PhD in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of International Affairs (MIA) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in government at Franklin & Marshall College. She has also studied at the L’Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, the University of Tehran (Deh Khoda Language Program) and Tel Aviv University.  

Ambassador Frederic C. Hof came to the Atlantic Council after a career as a US Army officer, a private sector CEO, and a US Department of State diplomat. He is a Vietnam veteran and as a military officer served on the commission that investigated the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps headquarters at Beirut International Airport. While in the private sector, he took a leave of absence in 2001 to serve as Chief of Staff of the Sharm al-Sheikh Fact-Finding Commission, headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, and was the principal drafter of the Commission's report. In the Department of State from 2009 to 2012, he took the lead in an effort to mediate Syrian-Israeli peace and was given the rank of ambassador in his capacity as special adviser to the secretary of state for transition in Syria. Among his military decorations is the Purple Heart.