Steven J. Rosen Joins MEF as Visiting Fellow
March 2, 2009
PHILADELPHIA — The Middle East Forum is pleased to announce that Steven J. Rosen has joined its staff as a visiting fellow, with special responsibility for U.S. foreign policy.
Mr. Rosen, a native of New York City, received a Ph.D. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Diplomacy. From 1968 to 1982, he served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh, Brandeis University, and the Australian National University, and he headed Middle East issues for the RAND Corporation's National Security Strategies Program. He wrote many academic publications, including The Logic of International Relations (1977), a best-selling textbook that ran to five editions.
From 1982 to 2005, he served as director of foreign policy issues for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where he was responsible for relations with the State Department, the National Security Council, and other executive branch agencies. The Washington Post noted that "Rosen helped pioneer 'executive-branch lobbying,' a style of advocacy that was not widespread when he began it in the mid-1980s, but is now a routine complement to the more traditional lobbying of Congress." The New York Times called him one of AIPAC's "most influential employees, with wide-ranging contacts within the Bush administration and overseas." National Public Radio called him "a larger-than-life figure" who "helped shape AIPAC into one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country." According to a 2005 Ha'aretz article, "In the eyes of many, he is AIPAC itself."
Two aspects of his work at AIPAC deserve special notice:
(1) His 1980s efforts to expand U.S.-Israel military cooperation: Mr. Rosen argued that the U.S.-Israel relationship should be based not on unilateral U.S. support for Israel but on mutual benefit. He established this premise in reports such as The Strategic Value of Israel (1982) and Israel and the U.S. Air Force (with Martin Indyk, 1983). The Washington Post noted that he then "helped convince key members of the administration that Israel was a U.S. 'strategic asset'," leading to "more cooperation than the two countries had ever enjoyed" while New York Times columnist William Safire credited him with helping launch U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation. A New Yorker profile noted that: "Rosen used his contacts to ... lobby for a strategic cooperation agreement between Israel and the United States, which was signed over the objections of ... the Secretary of Defense, and which led to a new level of intelligence sharing and military sales."
(2) His 1990s efforts to build leverage over Iran through a strategy of graduated economic sanctions: Mr. Rosen worked behind the scenes to secure President Clinton's March 14, 1995 executive order banning Conoco from investing in Iranian oil and gas production and his May 8, 1995 executive order extending this ban to all U.S. companies; congressional passage of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act ("ILSA") on December 18, 1995, to pressure foreign companies not to invest in Iranian oil and gas production; and Clinton's signing ILSA on August 4, 1996. The executive orders and ILSA (now called the Iran Sanctions Act) remain the foundation of efforts today to mobilize multilateral economic pressures against the Iranian nuclear enrichment program.
Mr. Rosen has already initiated two projects for the Middle East Forum, a weblog titled "Obama Mideast Monitor" and a publication series called The Policy Forum. His work at the Forum as a visiting fellow will initially emphasize issues facing the new administration, particularly debates concerning Iran and the Palestinians.
In announcing the appointment, Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, said: "Steve Rosen brings new strengths to our work, particularly in the Washington policy environment that he knows so well."
Mr. Rosen said: "The Middle East Forum has a reputation for excellence in research and analysis. I am honored to join it and hope to help increase its impact in the policy arena."
For more information, contact Amy Shargel at
215-546-5406, ex. 22
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