Dr. Paul Salem is Vice President for Policy and Research at The Middle East Institute. He focuses on issues of political change, democratic transition, and conflict, with a regional emphasis on the countries of the Levant and Egypt. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in numerous journals and newspapers, including Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, The New York Times, and the Financial Times. Salem is the author of a number of books and reports on the Middle East, including "Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings" (in Arabic, 2013); "Iraq's Tangled Foreign Relations" (2013), "Libya's Troubled Transition" (2012), "Can Lebanon Survive the Syrian Crisis?" (2012); and "The Arab State: Assisting or Obstructing Development" (2010).

Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon between 2006 and 2013.  From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon's leading public policy think tank. He played a key role in helping establish the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and has held several academic positions at AUB. In 2002, Salem served on the senior review committee for the United Nations Development Program's Arab Human Development Report and in 2006 served on Lebanon’s National Commission for Electoral Law Reform.  He was also a founding member of several civil society advocacy groups in Lebanon such as the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections, the Lebanese National Coalition for Local Elections, the Lebanese Transparency Association, and the Lebanese Mediation and Conflict Resolution Network.

B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University

Countries of Expertise:
Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran

Issues of Expertise:
Social & economic policy, U.S. foreign policy, security, democracy & governance, civil society & human rights

202-785-1141 ext. 163 (work)
202-615-4026 (cell)

Sample Interview:

May 21, 2014: An Interview with Paul Salem.