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Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Why Iran could top Biden’s Middle East agenda

Each crisis represents a major US foreign-policy challenge, but all may receive less attention from the new American administration than another pressing issue in the region: Iran’s recent nuclear advances.

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Energy & Environment Energy Markets & Governance

Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Atlantic Council hosts foreign minister of Somalia for a high-level roundtable

On Friday, January 15, the Africa Center and the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative co-hosted a private roundtable featuring H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak, the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia. In his remarks, Mr. Abdirizak addressed issues of security, governance, elections, and regional relationships from Somalia’s perspective.

Event Recap by Africa Center

Africa Civil Society

Mon, Jan 11, 2021

Experts react: The United States designates Houthi rebels as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

On January 11, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States is designating Yemen’s Houthi rebel group Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Atlantic Council experts react to the designation and what it means for the wider region.

MENASource by Atlantic Council

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Kirsten Fontenrose is Director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council where she  leads the security pillar within the Middle East programs. This effort focuses on the Middle East and North Africa’s ongoing security challenges, geopolitical competition, and the transatlantic community’s role in promoting security and stability to allow for political and economic development.

Fontenrose has twenty years of experience working with the national security apparatuses of nations in the Middle East and Africa from positions within the US Department of Defense, Department of State, White House, private industry, and non-profit sector. She served as Senior Director for Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council, leading the development of US policy toward nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President for Global Relations at the Sonoran Policy Group.

Previously, Fontenrose led the Middle East and Africa team in the interagency Global Engagement Center, built relationships with military officers and diplomats from the Middle East and South Asia for the Near East Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, which she helped establish. Her career began in the non-profit sector at the National Council on US-Arab Relations, and in the private sector working on US-Arab business projects with Arthur Houghton Associates.

Fontenrose’s editorials have been published in The Washington Post and Al-Anba. She has been interviewed on CNN, Fox News, BBC, MSNBC, PBS Newshour, NPR, and Voice of America and has been quoted in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among many others. She holds a BA in Middle East studies from the College of William and Mary, an MA in Middle East studies from Indiana University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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