Job Location: Atlantic Council Headquarters – Washington, DC
Employment Type: Full-Time
Seniority Level: Director
Job Category: Staff


The Atlantic Council seeks an “intellectual entrepreneur” to guide, build, and advance its robust programming on the security, political, and economic dimensions of the Gulf region at a time of historic change. The director will ideally be a former U.S. government official with deep scholarly and language credentials and rich familiarity with the region’s culture, politics, security challenges, and a rolodex to match. The director will construct ambitious projects, lead programs, write opinion pieces, conduct research, publish, appear on media outlets, and engage with policymakers in order to advance an engaged US and transatlantic policy toward the Gulf, Iran, and the broader Middle East region. The director will have opportunities to pursue his/her own analytical interests under the guidance of the Middle East Program director, while cooperating with colleagues within the Middle East Programs and other Atlantic Council programs to develop and implement regional and global initiatives.  

The successful candidate will have an expert’s level understanding of the evolving security, political, and economic dynamics and changes within the region, a willingness to take ownership of and promote policy changes publicly, and a desire to help build a growing Atlantic Council programming. The candidate will develop concepts for, write, and oversee production of major projects, policy documents, and longer reports. They will also moderate private and public events at the Atlantic Council and outside institutions and will be comfortable with public speaking at in-person and virtual events. Demonstrated expertise and analytical work related to the Gulf and Iran are required.  The successful candidate will also have experience managing a small team and will play a key role in mentoring junior staff and supporting their growth as budding experts. Strong writing and speaking skills in English are essential; fluency in Arabic is preferred. The position is based in Washington, DC, with occasional travel to the region, and very occasional travel to Europe or elsewhere.

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 Gulf/Iran policy.
  • 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. 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, PhD, or JD preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record in research and independent analysis in the Middle East and North Africa region, and on Gulf and Iran related issues in particular.
  • Demonstrated program management and fundraising experience.
  • Extensive portfolio of published scholarly research on issues in the region through media outlets or research institutions, or comparable government policy or analytical writing experience for White House or cabinet-level officials.
  • Ability to research and publish on a consistent basis, often responding to time-sensitive developments under tight deadlines and balancing competing demands.
  • Outstanding spoken and written English skills are necessary; fluency in Arabic is desired.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; must be able to engage and build relationships with high level US policymakers, foreign government officials, and prestigious members of the Atlantic Council, as well as speak as an expert frequently in media and public forums.

Middle East Programs

Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

All Atlantic Council employees are required to adhere to the Atlantic Council’s vaccination policy. All Atlantic Council employees must be fully vaccinated and boosted, and they must submit proof of both vaccination and Covid-19 booster shot on their first day of employment. Prospective or new employees may seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement through human resources and must have an approved exemption prior to the start of their employment.

Please note: The Atlantic Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The Atlantic Council is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation for all qualified individuals and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The Atlantic Council believes that diversity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as a global organization and seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. For more information, check out our Talent DEI Statement or connect with us at [email protected]. Thank you for your interest in the Atlantic Council.