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Joze Pelayo is an associate director at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, where he manages the China-Middle East line of work & podcast and the US-Gulf Arab states security cooperation portfolio with broad implications for regional and national security, including the Counterterrorism Study Group. Pelayo’s research focus includes transnational threats, Hezbollah, and international security. Pelayo has both living and working experience across the region and beyond.

Prior to joining the council, Pelayo worked for the Arab Gulf States Institute, where he supported programming and digital media and conducted an independent research project on Iran and Hezbollah’s transnational network. He also led a research project on Arab Gulf-Latin America economic relations and partnerships. Previously, Pelayo worked at the Arab Center Washington DC, where he researched US foreign policy towards MENA during the Arab Spring. He has gained prior working and internship experience in Lebanon, Russia, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the UAE.

Pelayo is also a scholarship awardee of advanced Arabic at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington DC and an alumn of the National Council of US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR). He completed his MA in International Development from the University of Oregon with a certificate in Nonprofit Management and a BA in Political Science from Southern Arkansas University.