Daniel Pipes, a historian, has led the Middle East Forum since its founding in 1994. He taught at Chicago, Harvard, Pepperdine, and the U.S. Naval War College; currently he is an affiliate professor at the University of Haifa. He served in five U.S. administrations, received two presidential appointments, and testified before many congressional committees. He is the author of sixteen books on the Middle East, Islam, and other topics. Mr. Pipes writes a column for the Washington Times and his work has been translated into 38 languages. DanielPipes.org contains an archive of his writings and media appearances; he tweets at @DanielPipes. He received both his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard. The Washington Post deems him "perhaps the most prominent U.S. scholar on radical Islam." Al-Qaeda invited Mr. Pipes to convert, and Edward Said called him his most horrible name – an "Orientalist."
Gregg Roman functions as the chief operations officer for the Forum, responsible for day-to-day management, communications, and financial resource development. Mr. Roman previously served as director of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. In 2014, he was named one of the ten most inspiring global Jewish leaders by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He previously served as the political advisor to the deputy foreign minister of Israel and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Mr. Roman is a frequent speaker at venues around the world, often appears on television, and has written for the Hill, the Forward, the Albany Times-Union, and other publications. He attended American University in Washington, D.C., and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, where he studied national security studies and political communications.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Research Fellow, Jihad-Intel
Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi researches violent non-state Islamic and Middle Eastern groups for the Forum. A graduate of Oxford University, with ancestry tracing back to Baghdad and Mosul, Mr. al-Tamimi's articles have been published, among other places, in Foreign Affairs, the American Spectator, the Daily Star (Beirut) and the Huffington Post. He has been widely cited for his insights in international media outlets such as the New York Times, Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, the Daily Telegraph, and the Washington Post.
Director of Communications
Lisa Barbounis manages communications and public relations for the Middle East Forum. She is responsible for advancing the Forum's project based and legislative initiatives by working with domestic and international media outlets, elected officials, advocacy groups, other nonprofits, and government agencies. With over 10 years of political experience, Ms. Barbounis has served as senior Congressional aide for two members of the United States House of Representatives and worked on several political campaigns. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Behavior and Decision Sciences - Social and Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also earned a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, Economics. Follow her on Twitter @Lisaelizabeth.
Director of Development
Matthew Bennett is responsible for financial resource development and information technology at the Forum. He manages the development team to direct annual fundraising campaigns, secure grant funding, and develop planned giving programs to endow the Foundation for the Middle East Forum (FMEF). Mr. Bennett previously worked for Intelsat General Corporation, started a management consulting company in Tel Aviv, and served as the Israel & Community Relations director for the Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties. He studied finance, international marketing, and information technology at American University in Washington, D.C., the Euro American Institute in France, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Caitriona Brady works as a member of the development team, assisting the director of development with fundraising campaigns and related activities. She is also responsible for the Forum's Young Adult Division (YAD). Previously, Ms. Brady served MEF as an intern during her junior and senior years at Mount St. Mary's University. She holds a BA Political Science and Italian.
Marc Fink serves as the Forum's in-house legal counsel and chief editor, while directing the Legal Project. He previously practiced with the Detroit law firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC before embarking on a political career advising gubernatorial, congressional, secretary of state, attorney general, and judicial campaigns. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan majoring in history, Mr. Fink received his law degree from Emory University.
MEQ Managing Editor
Judy Goodrobb is responsible for day-to-day management and design of the Middle East Quarterly. She is a writing tutor at Penn State University-Brandywine. Previously Ms. Goodrobb worked as an editor and public relations professional at Drexel University and Norwich University and taught writing at Johnson State College of Vermont and Community College of Philadelphia. She holds an M.A. in writing from Vermont College.
Principal Research Fellow and MEQ Editor
Efraim Karsh is editor of the Middle East Forum's flagship publication, the Middle East Quarterly. He is an emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King's College London and professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, where he also directs the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. Mr. Karsh held academic posts at Harvard and Columbia universities, the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics, Helsinki University, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington, D.C., and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of sixteen books and over 100 scholarly articles and has appeared frequently as a commentator on British and American television networks.
Senior Advisor, Israel Victory Project
EJ Kimball is a foreign policy and national security consultant with over 10 years' experience working in Washington, D.C. He most recently served as executive director of the Israel Allies Foundation. He previously served as foreign policy counsel to Rep. Sue Myrick (NC), staff director of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, and director of government relations for Jorge Scientific Corporation. Kimball graduated from Boston University, earned his Juris Doctor from Western New England College, and received a Master's degree from the American University School of International Service.
Islamist Watch Research Fellow
Oren Litwin does research for the Forum's Islamist Money in Politics project. He is an associate fellow for the R Street Institute. He previously worked in financial advising and investment management for more than a decade, most recently as part of the AIG Advisor Group. He then served as the political risk fellow for the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and as an adjunct professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Mr. Litwin has a Ph.D. in political science from George Mason University. His work has been published by the Foreign Policy Association, the Huffington Post, the Hill, and RealClearMarkets.com.
Samantha Rose Mandeles
Islamist Watch Coordinator
Samantha joined MEF in September 2017, after coordinating anti-BDS faculty efforts for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and managing distribution for Americans for Peace and Tolerance's documentary film Hate Spaces. She earned her M.A in Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and a double B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Bioarchaeology from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Before beginning her studies in Israel, Ms. Mandeles served as senior campus coordinator and editor-in-chief for the campus team at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) in Boston.
Director of Programming
Tricia McNulty is responsible for planning and managing the Forum's in-person and online programming, including: donor lunches, conferences, conference calls, briefings, lecture series, webinars, and galas. She organizes 100+ engagements per year for MEF's director, president, writing fellows, and other Mideast experts. As a member of the development team, Ms. McNulty works with the director of development on donor engagement, coordinating annual fundraising campaigns, and assisting with planned giving. Prior to joining the forum, she spent over ten years in sales and event planning supporting C-level executives, working in the U.S. and Australia. She studied at The College of New Jersey.
Director of Finance and Operations
Marnie Meyer is responsible for the Forum's finance, accounting, and reporting activities. Prior to joining the Forum, she provided accounting and business management services for GC4 Consulting. She is also a certified QuickBooks Pro advisor.
Director, Academic Affairs
Winfield Myers is director of the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch, which reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North American universities. He has taught world history and other topics at the University of Michigan, the University of Georgia, Tulane, and Xavier University of Louisiana. He was previously managing editor of the American Enterprise magazine and CEO of Democracy Project, Inc., which he co-founded. Mr. Myers has served as senior editor and communications director at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and is principal author and editor of a college guide, Choosing the Right College (1998, 2001). He was educated at the University of Georgia, Tulane, and the University of Michigan.
Thelma Prosser has been in charge of the Middle East Forum office since 1995. She previously worked at the Foreign Policy Research Institute for over twelve years.
David J. Rusin
Islamist Watch Research Fellow
David J. Rusin investigates and combats nonviolent radical Islam in the United States and other Western countries for Islamist Watch. His research has highlighted the dangers posed by Islamist-leaning individuals with government security clearances, debunked the myth that American Muslims are more likely than other minorities to suffer hate crimes, and tracked the progress of Philadelphia's "black Muslim enclave." He has been the curator of Islamist Watch's extensive news archive for more than half a decade and previously served as the project's director. Prior to joining the Forum, Mr. Rusin worked as an astrophysicist. He also spent two years as the Philadelphia editor at PJ Media
Director of MEF-Israel
Danny Seamen is Director of MEF-Israel and a 31-year veteran of the Israeli government, having served as Director of the Government Press Office and Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. Since retiring from government, Mr. Seaman has been a media consultant and worked as bureau chief of Voice of Israel, an English language Talk Radio station, as well as editor of English language content at Mida.org.il, an online conservative Israeli current affairs and opinion magazine. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the City University of New York, Hunter College.
Counter-Islamist Grid Director
Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Counter-Islamist Grid. Mr. Shideler specializes on Islamist groups operating in the United States, having spent over a decade researching and writing on their history, doctrine, and impact. He has briefed senior U.S. Government personnel, Members of Congress, and law enforcement on this topic, as well as testified before the Canadian House of Commons. Mr. Shideler has written for The Federalist, The Hill, FoxNews.com, the Claremont Review of Books, and contributed to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network (Palgrave, 2011). Mr. Shideler previously worked at the Center for Security Policy, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, and StandWithUs. He is a graduate of Boston University and was a Lincoln Fellow with the Claremont Institute.
Washington Project Director
Clifford V. Smith is MEF's liaison to decision makers and opinion leaders in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.A. from Washington State University, an M.P.P. with a focus on international relations from Pepperdine University, and a law degree from the Catholic University of America. He is a member of the Maryland Bar. An experienced political operative, he is the veteran of numerous campaigns and has held several positions in Congress, most recently communications director for U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer. His writings have been published in the Daily Caller, the American Spectator, PJ Media, and other outlets.
Campus Watch West Coast Representative
Cinnamon Stillwell analyzes Middle East studies academia in West Coast colleges and universities for Campus Watch. A San Francisco Bay Area native and graduate of San Francisco State University, she is a columnist, blogger, and social media analyst. Ms. Stillwell, a former contributing political columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, has written on a wide variety of topics, including the political atmosphere in American higher education, and has appeared as a guest on television and talk radio.
Islamist Watch Director
Sam Westrop has headed Islamist Watch since March 2017, when MEF absorbed the counter-extremism unit of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT). Prior to this he was research director at APT, where he excelled at tracking Islamist activity across New England, and ran Stand for Peace, a London-based counter-extremism organization monitoring Islamists throughout the UK. Mr. Westrop is a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute. His writings have appeared at such publications as National Review, National Post, and The Hill, and he has appeared on dozens of television and radio stations, including BBC, Al Jazeera, and Newsmax.
Delaney Yonchek works on MEF's communications team, specializing in content, placement, and social media. She is also responsible for the Forum's Young Adult Division (YAD). Previously, Ms. Yonchek served MEF as an communications intern. She holds a BA in International Relations and a minor in Political Science from Saint Joseph's University.
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