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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.

Articles By

Climate Change Could Stifle the Middle East’s Tourism Rebound By Suha Ma’ayeh - Nov 29, 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 28, 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”

Pakistan Pays Heavy Price For Domestic Turmoil By Arif Rafiq - Nov 25, 2022

Pakistan’s economy is in a deep mess. This summer’s epic floods took more than a thousand lives and inflicted billions of dollars in damage and devastation. In spite of an International Monetary Fund bailout, Pakistan’s external account position remains precarious. Foreign exchange reserves at hand cover less than two months of imports. Exports and remittances are in decline. Pakistan’s perceived default risk, as reflected by … Continue reading “Pakistan Pays Heavy Price For Domestic Turmoil”

The ‘Loss and Damage’ Climate Agenda Will Sink Us All By Jonathan Gornall - Nov 24, 2022

Throughout COP27, which ended on Friday, there was the usual juvenile sniping at the engagement in the climate-change mitigation process of the oil-producing countries, as if anything could possibly be achieved without their collaboration. The UK Guardian, which can always be relied upon to bash the Gulf states on the slightest pretext, dedicated a long article … Continue reading “The ‘Loss and Damage’ Climate Agenda Will Sink Us All”

It’s Not All Sunshine: Middle East Invests Big in Wind Power By Robin Mills - Nov 21, 2022

The story of renewable energy across the Middle East and North Africa is usually told from one viewpoint: the sun that beats down relentlessly on the region’s deserts. Solar is indeed a tremendous source of power and increasingly made to move electrons. But wind also blows across the Middle East’s plains, hills and seas – … Continue reading “It’s Not All Sunshine: Middle East Invests Big in Wind Power”