New AtlanticistMar 10, 2023
Experts react: Iran and Saudi Arabia just agreed to restore relations, with help from China. Here’s what that means for the Middle East and the world.
By Atlantic Council experts
Long-standing regional adversaries just made a big announcement: They will reestablish diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China. Atlantic Council experts share their insights on the announcement.
Jonathan Panikoff is the director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Program. A former career US intelligence officer, Panikoff served as the deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East at the National Intelligence Council (NIC) from 2015 to 2020. In this role, he represented the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) at the assistant secretary-level for interagency policy meetings, provided intelligence assessments to senior US policymakers on Middle East issues, and advised the director of national intelligence and ODNI leadership on the region.
Following his tenure on the NIC, Panikoff led the Intelligence Community’s (IC) analytic support to the US presidential transition, for which he served as the senior IC point of contact for all incoming cabinet secretary-level designates. Most recently, he served as director of ODNI’s Investment Security Group where he oversaw a team of twenty-six and led the IC’s efforts on foreign-investment reviews—most prominently for Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and Team Telecom issues—and supported the development of foreign allies’ investment review regimes. Previously, Panikoff was executive assistant to the deputy director of national intelligence where part of his responsibilities included preparing the deputy director to deliver the Presidential Daily Briefing.
Prior to joining ODNI, Panikoff led analysis on a variety of Middle East and counterterrorism issues at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Earlier in his career, he worked for a consultancy specializing in foreign corporate due diligence and risk avoidance and as a fellow at the US Mission to NATO. He lived in Israel during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, conducting field research into the political dynamics of terrorist organizations.
Panikoff holds a JD from Syracuse University’s College of Law, an MA in international relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and a BA in international affairs and political science from the George Washington University. He is admitted to the bar in both New York and Connecticut. Panikoff is a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2016 Shawn Brimley fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He lives with his wife Jessica and their two daughters in Washington, DC.