Bilal Y. Saab is a political-military analyst on the Middle East and US policy toward the region. He specializes in the Levant and the Persian Gulf, and focuses on security cooperation between the United States and its regional partners, and national security and defense processes in Arab partner countries.
Currently, Saab is senior fellow and director of the Defense and Security Program at the Middle East Institute. In addition, he is a term member (2016-2021) with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a recipient of the International Affairs Fellowship (2018-2019) with CFR. Saab is also adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University's Security Studies Program.
Saab has fluency in both written and spoken Arabic and French, and experience living in the Middle East for more than two decades. He has received various analytic and leadership awards throughout his career including the Thought Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council and the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Award from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
A prolific and widely published author in peer-reviewed academic and policy journals including the print editions of The Washington Quarterly, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, American Interest, and The National Interest and the online editions of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy (for a list of publications and speaking engagements please consult the publications page of this website), Saab is often called upon to brief and testify before various executive and legislative agencies in the U.S. Government and other governments around the world. He regularly provides commentary to international media outlets including CNN, NPR, PBS Newshour, Reuters, Washington Post and New York Times.
BA, American University of Beirut; MLitt., University of St Andrews; MA, University of Maryland, College Park
Countries of Expertise
Bahrain, Iran, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE
Issues of Expertise
Arms Control; Defense; Insurgency; Regional Security; Strategy; Terrorism; US Middle East Policy