Assessing Libya's Transition

A discussion about the political and security conditions in Libya, steps needed to address the political chaos and divisions afflicting the country, and what more the international community can do to support Libya's troubled reform process.
Wednesday, March 26
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Carnegie Endowment
1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036

Event Information

Three years after the start of the uprisings that led to the ousting of leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libyan efforts to build a stable, cohesive, democratic state have faced repeated setbacks.

At this challenging moment in the country's transition, MEI is pleased to host experts David Mack (The Middle East Institute), Karim Mezran (Atlantic Council) and Fred Wehrey (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) for a discussion on Libya. They'll be addressing the political and security conditions in Libya, steps needed to address the political chaos and divisions afflicting the country, and what more the international community can do to support Libya's troubled reform process. Charles Dunne (Freedom House, The Middle East Institute) will moderate the discussion.

Participant Biographies:

David Mack
Since 2003, Ambassador David Mack has advised U.S. firms on doing business in Libya.  He previously served as acting president and vice president of The Middle East Institute, where he remains as an adjunct scholar.  Mack served for over 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service.  His assignments included deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs (1990-93), Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1986-89), and second secretary in Libya (1969-1972).  Mack arrived in Libya six weeks before the September 1969 revolution to serve as political officer and interpreter for the U.S. Ambassador.  During three years in Tripoli and Benghazi, he attended meetings with Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi and other Libyan leaders.  Since leaving the State Department in 1995, he has met frequently with Libyan personalities in both the United States and in Libya.  Ambassador Mack writes articles and delivers lectures on US-Libyan relations.

Karim Mezran
Karim Mezran is a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.  Dr. Mezran joined the Hariri Center as a senior fellow focusing on the processes of change in North Africa. As a distinguished Libyan-Italian scholar, Dr. Mezran brings enormous depth of understanding to the transition in Libya and elsewhere in the region. In addition, Dr. Mezran is currently an adjunct professor of Middle East studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he is teaching courses on the history and politics of North Africa. For the last eight years he has been the director of the Center for American Studies in Rome. His analyses on the Middle East and North Africa have been widely published in Italian- and other-language journals and publications.

Frederic Wehrey
Frederic Wehrey is a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  He focuses on Gulf political and security affairs, Libya, and U.S. policy in the Middle East.  Prior to joining Carnegie, he was a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation.   He served as a reserve military attache at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli prior to the 2011 Revolution and is a frequent visitor to the country since.   His analyses and commentary on Libya have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and the Washington Post.   In late 2013, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Western efforts to rebuild Libya's security sector.   His Carnegie publications on Libya include "Building Libya's Security Sector" (2013) and "The Struggle for Security in Eastern Libya" (2012).

Charles Dunne (Moderator)
Prior to joining Freedom House, Charles Dunne spent 24 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving overseas in Cairo, Jerusalem, and Madras, India. In addition, he was Director for Iraq at the National Security Council from 2005-2007 and a Foreign Policy Adviser to the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy at the Joint Staff in the Pentagon (2007-2008). He also served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he contributed to the development of presidential initiatives to advance political reform and democracy in the Broader Middle East and North Africa. He is a member of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. He represents Freedom House as a co-chair of the Libya Working Group along with the Project on Middle East Democracy and the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center.

**A light lunch will be served at this event. Please also note that this event is located at the Carnegie Endowment building, not MEI.**