Job Location: Atlantic Council Headquarters – Washington, DC
Position Type: Full-Time
Education Level: Masters Degree or Higher
Job Category: Rafik Hariri Center & Middle East Programs

Job Description

The Atlantic Council’s work on the Middle East focuses on two overarching themes: how to achieve peace and security and how to unlock the region’s human potential.  Our Rafik Hariri Center leads our work on unlocking human potential, which builds upon its groundbreaking Middle East Strategy Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. The final report of the task force argues that Middle Eastern economies and societies can be transformed over the coming decades, led by its young generation and empowered by rapidly increasing access to new technologies.

Working from this blueprint, the Hariri Center is positioning itself as the leading producer of scholarship and platform for debate in Washington on these subjects.  We believe that too much of the discussion in Washington on the region is focused on the enduring regional challenges of terrorism and war, and far too little attention is paid to the challenges and opportunities related to economic and political reform, growing entrepreneurship, technological advances, educational improvements and generational change.

The Hariri Center expects to explore projects to map the legal, financial and educational ecosystems in the region to support entrepreneurship and attract investment, to develop a playbook for the U.S. government to improve its ability to support local entrepreneurs, and to highlight underappreciated success stories and innovative approaches throughout the Arab world that promote women’s empowerment, improve education, and promote human rights and the rule of law.

The Atlantic Council seeks an experienced expert, builder and practitioner with broad interests ranging from the role of women in the region to the role of business and investment in unlocking human potential. The ideal candidate to lead this new initiative will have private sector and public sector experience and background on issues concerning business, economic and human development in the Middle East and North Africa region. The director will guide and engage in business development, research and convenings and engage with policymakers, civil society leaders and business leaders to advance an engaged US and transatlantic approach. The successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the evolving political, economic, business, regulatory, social, and security dynamics within the region. The candidate should have a proven track record of building programs and projects and a willingness to take ownership of and promote recommendations publicly.  Business development experience with the private sector and foundations would be an advantage.

The candidate will develop concepts for, write, and oversee production of major projects, policy documents, and longer reports. He/she will also moderate private and public events at the Atlantic Council and outside institutions and will be comfortable with public speaking. A wide range of demonstrated expertise and analytical work would be helpful related to economic development and entrepreneurship, business and regulatory issues, education, women and youth, and international aid policy.

Fluency in Arabic is preferred. Strong writing and speaking skills in English are essential. The position is located in Washington, DC, with frequent travel to the region.

Job Responsibilities

The Director and Senior Fellow will be specifically responsible for:

  • Intellectual Leadership: Play a leading role in developing the intellectual framework for advancing the Council’s mission and programming through written work and speaking opportunities within and outside the Council; develop select issues in which the incumbent maintains a profile and is respected in the policy community for her or his thought leadership.
  • Programmatic Design and Oversight: Develop programming and new initiatives designed to influence policy and impact the public debate on economic and human development in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Business Development: Generate programmatic ideas, independently craft proposals for funding, and generate financial support for new and existing lines of programming.
  • Management: Manage and develop a team including non-resident fellows and associate/assistant directors and assist in staff recruitment when required. Manage relationships with Board members, members of the Council’s networks, and sponsoring entities.
  • Outreach/Communications: Represent the Atlantic Council externally with the Administration, Congress, the diplomatic community and foreign governments, donors, media, etc., as well as at public and private events, international conferences, etc.
  • Financial Management: Serve as a reliable and faithful steward of program and Council funds. Oversee expenses and revenues, management of budgets, and anticipated fundraising, and ensure program solvency.


  • 15+ years’ work experience as senior practitioner in the private or public sector with a track record of publications; Masters or PhD preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record in research and independent analysis on economic development issues in the Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Demonstrated program management and fundraising experience.
  • Extensive portfolio of published scholarly research on issues in the region through media outlets or research institutions.
  • Ability to research and publish on a consistent basis, often responding to time-sensitive developments under tight deadlines and balancing competing demands.
  • Superior spoken and written English skills are necessary; fluency in Arabic is a plus.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; must be able to engage and build relationships with high level US policymakers, foreign government officials, as well as speak as an expert frequently in media and public forums. 

Please note: Atlantic Council is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to inclusion and diversity. We take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity for all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, Veteran status, or other legally protected characteristics. Atlantic Council is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to applicants with physical and mental disabilities. Thank you for your interest in the Atlantic Council.