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Ellen Laipson is the director of the International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. She joined GMU from the Stimson Center, where she was president and CEO (2002-2015) and continues as president emeritus and distinguished fellow. Her tenure at Stimson followed a quarter century of government service. She serves on a number of academic and other non-governmental boards related to international security and diplomacy, and is a weekly columnist for worldpoliticsreview.com. Her last post in government was vice chair of the National Intelligence Council (1997-2002). She also worked on the State Department’s policy planning staff, the National Security Council staff and the Congressional Research Service. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she currently serves on the advisory councils of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Notre Dame International Security Center, and on the board of the Diplomacy Center Foundation. From 2003 to 2015, she was a member of the board of the Asia Foundation. She was a member of the CIA External Advisory Panel from 2006-2009, President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2009-2013, and on the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board 2011-2014. Laipson has an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and an AB from Cornell University.

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French Influence in North Africa Falters Amid New Global Realities By Oussama Romdhani - Dec 2, 2022

At a time when French-Algerian relations were supposed to be on the mend, Algeria’s Central Bank issued, on November 1, new banknotes which bore for the first time inscriptions in English, alongside Arabic. Politicians in Paris were not amused. They saw it as another sign that Algeria was drifting away from France’s zone of influence. … Continue reading “French Influence in North Africa Falters Amid New Global Realities”

The Eight Billionth Question By Afshin Molavi - Nov 28, 2022

The world just passed a quiet milestone, topping 8 billion people on Earth. Embedded in this demographic story is an important developmental one: We are healthier, wealthier, and better educated than at any time in human history. And yet, macro numbers offer little solace to the 800 million people who still lack access to electricity, or the roughly same amount who go … Continue reading “The Eight Billionth Question”

Climate Change Could Stifle the Middle East’s Tourism Rebound By Suha Ma’ayeh - Nov 27, 2022

After a two-year slowdown, tourism is once again booming in the Middle East. As countries lift their COVID-19 travel restrictions and demand for travel returns, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) projects that the sector’s contribution to regional GDP will grow more than 36 percent in 2022 – to more than $256 billion. While this is undoubtedly great news for countries where tourism accounts … Continue reading “Climate Change Could Stifle the Middle East’s Tourism Rebound”

Spanish Decision Shows Tide Turning on Repatriating ISIS Brides By Faisal Al Yafai - Nov 26, 2022

In the murky world of ISIS families, all diplomacy is conducted quietly. On Monday, the Spanish government quietly admitted it would bring back several Spanish wives and children of ISIS fighters, before the end of the year. Newspaper reports placed the number at three women and 13 children – a figure which, while small, represents a significant … Continue reading “Spanish Decision Shows Tide Turning on Repatriating ISIS Brides”