Panel: Trump’s Foreign Policy Positions on Palestine and the Middle East


Dr. Nathan Brown,  Professor of Political Science and International Affairs; Director, Institute for Middle East Studies and Middle East Studies Program, George Washington University 
Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, George Washington University
Dr. Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development and Director of the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution


*A light lunch is served at 12:30 p.m. Panel begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.

As we begin 2017 with a new presidential administration, so we begin a critical year of major markers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are many questions about the foreign policy positions president-elect Donald Trump will assume and take with regard to the Middle East and Palestine. Trump has already declared he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, will support increased settlement building in the West Bank, and among his cabinet picks he has appointed David Friedman, a lawyer with no foreign policy experience and known as a “hard-line” supporter of settlements, to serve as ambassador to Israel. John Kerry’s recent speech in the wake of the Obama administration’s abstention from voting on the UN Resolution condemning Israeli settlements, while finally speaking some truth on the issues, is seen as coming too late and little more than an attempt to salvage Obama’s legacy before the Trump presidency takes power.  Our panelists will discuss these issues and more, while examining the widespread regional and global effects these shifts will bring.


About the Speakers:

Dr. Nathan Brown is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies as well as Director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Washington University where he teaches courses on Middle Eastern politics, comparative politics and international relations. From 2013-2015, Dr. Brown was president of the Middle East Studies Association, the academic association for scholars studying the region. In 2013, he was named a Guggenheim Fellow; four years earlier, he was named a Carnegie scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. For the 2009–2010 academic year, he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Brown serves on the Middle East and North Africa advisory committee for Human Rights Watch and the board of trustees at the American University in Cairo. He has previously served as an advisor for the committee drafting the Palestinian constitution, USAID, the United Nations Development Program, and several NGOs.

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is Professor of Practice and Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at The George Washington University, where he currently teaches courses on public diplomacy and crisis communications. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the U.S. Department of State under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was the primary U.S. government interlocutor with major media regarding the impact of the release of classified diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. Following his public criticism of the government’s pre-trial treatment of Private First Class Bradley/Chelsea Manning, he resigned from this position. Atlantic Magazine named him as one of 21 Brave Thinkers in 2011. After leaving the State Department, P.J. held the 2011-2012 Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and School of Public Affairs, Dickinson College and the Army War College. While there, he authored The Rise of Transparency and Decline of Secrecy in the Age of Global and Social Media for the Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs.

P.J. has also served as a specialist on national security. From 2011-2012 he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, focusing on homeland security in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and authoring detailed analyses on security issues, including Safe at Home, a national security strategy to protect the American homeland, improve national preparedness and rebuild the U.S. standing in the world. He remains engaged on these issues as a member of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group.

Dr. Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development and the Director of the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His best-selling book, The Stakes: America and the Middle East, was selected by Foreign Affairs as one of the top five books on the Middle East in 2003. His most recent book, The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East, was published in 2013. Telhami was selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York along with the New York Times as one of the “Great Immigrants” for 2013. 


Bookings are no longer available for this event.