Suhayla Sibaai is a Non-Resident Scholar with the Strategic Technologies and Cyber Security Program at the Middle East Institute, where she focuses on the nexus between U.S. foreign policy and emerging technologies and cybersecurity.

Ms. Sibaai has over a decade of experience in developing policy initiatives and international capacity-building projects. Her work has centered on areas such as democracy and governance, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection, refugee policy, and counterterrorism/CVE for international non-governmental organizations (I/NGOs) and the U.S. Government. Based in Washington, D.C., she has previously worked in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Currently, Ms. Sibaai collaborates with Five Eye partners to develop strategic alignment and resilience in the realms of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. In her previous role, she served as a Foreign Affairs Officer with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs/Arabian Peninsula, stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In this capacity, she managed a multimillion-dollar portfolio of critical infrastructure protection and international security capacity-building projects between the U.S. Government interagency and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Before her tenure with the Department of State, Ms. Sibaai worked extensively on U.S. and international policy toward Syria. She engaged with international diplomats and officials from various branches of the U.S. Government to provide policy briefings and analysis on the Syrian conflict and its broader geopolitical dynamics. Her efforts aimed to present policy options in pursuit of a free and democratic Syria and counter Russian and Iranian support of the Assad regime. Ms. Sibaai also spent time staffing the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. In this role, her primary focus was on counterterrorism and nonproliferation issues in the Middle East, Russia, and North Korea.
Her extensive research, primarily focused on the Middle East and North Africa, has led to publications and interviews for a variety of outlets, including The Hill, Atlantic Council, The Huffington Post, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and KCRW's "To the Point" with Warren Olney.

Education:

Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS), Georgetown University; BA (Hons.) in Global and International Studies, BA in Political Science, University of Kansas 

Regions of Expertise:

Levant, Arabian Peninsula/the Gulf, Iran, Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom), Russia

Issues of Expertise:

U.S. Middle East Policy, Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure, Internet of Things (IoT), Geopolitics of 5G, Supply Chains, Countering Foreign Influence/Mis-, dis-, mal-information, Global Technology Policy

Languages:

English, Arabic 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information

Please contact MEI’s communications officer, Elliott Sanders, at emsanders@mei.edu or 202-785-1141 ext. 2503 for assistance contacting this expert.