The Middle East Policy Council’s senior leadership can provide expertise and insight to a wide range of forums and media outlets to advance the Council mission of fostering public discussion of the political, economic, cultural and security issues that affect the interests of the United States in the Middle East. For more information, please contact Grace Elliott (202) 296-6767 or

Ford FrakerFord M. Fraker


Ambassador Fraker has over 35 years of Middle East experience at the intersection of finance and international diplomacy.  He served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from April 2007 to April 2009, spanning both the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama administrations.  From 2009 to 2013, he was a Senior Advisor to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), Chairman KKR Middle East and North Africa, and CEO KKR Saudi Ltd.  He is now the Chairman, Merrill Lynch Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  As U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, he promoted American national interests at the highest levels of the Saudi monarchy on a wide range of bilateral economic and security issues, as well as managing the strategic relationship in the region.  He continues to advise senior administration officials on Middle East policy, with particular focus on the U.S. relationship with its Gulf allies.  He worked at Chemical Bank 1972-1979 in Lebanon, the UAE and Bahrain, including Regional Manager for the bank’s Bahrain office. He was with Saudi International Bank 1979-1991. In 1991 he founded Fraker & Co, and in 1993 he joined MeesPierson Investment Finance (UK) Limited, where he was responsible for placing U.S. and European investment products with European and Middle Eastern institutional and private investors. In 1997 he co-founded Trinity Group Limited.  Please contact to inquire about media appearances.

Thomas MattairThomas Mattair

Executive Director

Dr. Mattair has taught at Kent State University, the University of Southern California, the University of California at Riverside, and Cornell University. He also served as the director of research at the Middle East Policy Council from 1992 to 1995. From 1997 until 2003 he was a research scholar at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, where he researched and wrote The Three Occupied UAE Islands: The Tunbs and Abu Musa. The book is a study that examines, among other topics, Iranian military capabilities and intentions in the Gulf. His most recent book, Global Security Watch — Iran: A Reference Handbook (Praeger Security International, 2008) is a comprehensive study of Iran's foreign relations. Choice Reviews Online calls it "a must read for policy makers, Middle East scholars and students, and those wishing to have a better understanding of the U.S.'s relationship with Iran." He has published and lectured widely in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East and serves as a consultant to governments and business firms on security and economic issues in the Gulf. He is an honors graduate of Harvard and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a past recipient of Harvard Law School's Mark de Wolfe Howe Fellowship, the Ambassador Rodger Davies Memorial Fellowship, and fellowships from the Earhart Foundation. He is an ex officio member of the Board.  Please contact to inquire about media appearances.

Anne JoyceAnne Joyce

Vice President, Editor of Middle East Policy

Ms. Joyce has been the editor of the Council's quarterly journal of political analysis, Middle East Policy, and director of publications since 1984.  In 1993 she was promoted to vice-president of the Council and serves as an ex-officio member of the Board.  In her 30 years at the Council, Ms. Joyce has supervised the production of 112 issues of the journal, as well as numerous conference proceedings and several special reports and books.  Before coming to the Council, she had been an instructor at the American Language Institute of Georgetown University and at the University of Iowa.  She holds master’s degrees in French literature (1966) and in linguistics (1979).  Please contact to inquire about media appearances.

Richard SchmiererRichard Schmierer

Chairman of the Board, Middle East Policy Council

Amb. Schmierer serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Policy Council.  In addition he is a Member of the Advisory Board of the National Council for U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR), where he is also a Distinguished International Affairs Fellow.

Amb. Schmierer served for more than 34 years as a State Department Foreign Service Officer, attaining the rank of Minister-Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service.  He completed his foreign service career in 2014 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA).  From July through December 2013 Amb. Schmierer served as NEA Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and from September 2009 through August 2012 he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.  Prior to his ambassadorship he served as NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and as Director of the Office of Iraq Affairs.  He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Omar KaderOmar Kader

President and CEO of Pal-Tech Inc.
Member of the Board, Middle East Policy Council

Dr. Kader is president and CEO of Pal-Tech, Inc., a managment consulting firm focusing on training, technical assistance and managment. He has served as executive director of the United Palestinian Appeal and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He also served as a member of the U.S. Delegation observing and monitoring democratic elections worldwide. He accompanied President Clinton to Jordan and Israel for the signing of the peace treaty between the two countries. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Southern California.


Credit: Len SpodenMark N. Katz

Senior Fellow

Dr. Katz is Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University.  He writes on Russian foreign policy toward the Middle East, transnational revolutionary movements, and other Middle East-related subjects.  His articles have been published in Middle East Policy, Middle East Journal, Problems of Post-Communism, Current History, Demokratizatsiya, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Moscow Times,, Middle East Strategy at Harvard (MESH), United Press International (UPI), and others.  He earned a B.A. in international relations from the University of California at Riverside in 1976, an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 1978, and a Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T. in 1982.  He has been a visiting scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh (May 2001), the Hokkaido University Slavic Research Center in Sapporo, Japan (June-July 2007), the Kennan Institute in Washington, DC (January 2008), and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow (March 2010).  Links to many of his publications can be found on his website:

Karim MezranKarim Mezran

Senior Fellow

Dr. Mezran is the Director of the Center for American Studies in Rome and an adjunct professor of Middle East Studies at SAIS Bologna. He also teaches at John Cabot University in Rome. He was a visiting professor at the Libera Università per gli Studi Sociali in Rome in 2002 and a professional lecturer at SAIS in Washington D.C. in 2000. Professor Mezran is the author of numerous publications on the Middle East and North Africa, including: I Fratelli Musulmani nel mondo contemporaneo, with Massimo Campanini (2010); Panorama 2010 su scenari internazionali e di crisi with Nicola Pedde and Valter Cassar (2009); Arcipelago Islam, with Massimo Campanini (2007); Negotiation and Construction of National Identities (2007); Negotiating National Identity: the Case of North Africa (2002); "Between Europe and Islam: the Libyan legal system" in Legal Systems of the World. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University-SAIS.  Please contact to inquire about media appearances.

General Joseph P. Hoar

USMC (ret.), Former Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command
Board Member, Middle East Policy Council

General Hoar was commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. Since retirement from the Marine Corps, he has remained active in Middle East affairs and business with his consulting firm, J.P. Hoar and Associates. He was an early and vocal opponent of the Iraq War, testifying in 2002 before the Senate Armed Services Committee and writing numerous op-eds and articles on the subject. General Hoar is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and the Board of Trustees of the Center for Naval Analysis. He is a graduate of Tufts University (BA), George Washington University (MA) and the National War College.

William Rugh

Former Ambassador, United Arab Emirates
Board Member, Middle East Policy Council

Ambassador Rugh served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Syria and as ambassador to the Republic of Yemen and to the U.A.E. Ambassador Rugh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the American University in Cairo. He holds a Ph.D. in public law and government from Columbia University.