Newsweek quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne on Hillary Clinton’s legacy of progress in Tunisia:

Middle East expert Amy Hawthorne, who worked at the State Department on the response to the uprisings until 2013, says it was apparent to her that “Secretary Clinton was quite interested in Tunisia.” She signaled to staff there that “this is a priority; we need to put a spotlight on this country.”


The fact is, the type of economic development Clinton and the State Department talked up are slow and grinding in the best of times. There “wasn’t really an appreciation of how long these takes,” says Hawthorne, now senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank. “These things were really oversold.”


As Hawthorne observes, “Whenever an authoritarian leader falls from power suddenly, it’s really tumultuous. Tunisia is doing pretty well, but it hasn’t been easy.” There have been failures, and progress has come in fits and starts. But there are signs of progress, and that started during Clinton’s tenure at State.

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