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Weiser Diplomacy Center pres.

The Evolving Role of the U.S. in the Gulf Region

Dr. Dania Thafer, Executive Director of the Gulf International Forum, Abbas Khadim, Director of Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Council and General Anthony C. Zinni, former United States Marine Corps general in conversation with Ambassador Patrick Theros.

Gulf International Forum panel Gulf International Forum panel
Gulf International Forum panel
This event is open to the public.

Join us for a virtual conversation co-hosted by the Gulf International Forum featuring Dr. Dania Thafer, Executive Director of the Gulf International Forum (GIF), Abbas Khadim, Director of Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Council and General Anthony C. Zinni, former United States Marine Corps general in conversation with Ambassador Patrick Theros.

About the speakers:
Dr. Abbas Kadhim leads the Atlantic Council Iraq Initiative. He is an Iraq expert and author of Reclaiming Iraq: The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State. Most recently, he was a senior foreign policy fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He was formerly an assistant professor of national security affairs and Middle East studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and a visiting assistant professor at Stanford University. He also previously held a senior government affairs position at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC. His books include Governance in the Middle East and North Africa and The Hawza Under Siege: Studies in the Ba’th Party Archive. He earned a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Dania Thafer is a political scientist with a focus on political economy and international relations. Her current research explores the effect of state-business relations on economic development for the existing youth-bulges in rentier economies with an emphasis on the Arab Gulf states. She has been widely published on matters concerning the Arab Gulf region including several articles, a monograph, and a co-edited book entitled The Arms Trade, Military Services and the Security Market in the Gulf States: Trends and Implications. Dania is the founding Executive Director of Gulf International Forum, an institute focused on the Gulf region. Previously, she worked at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. Ms. Thafer has a master’s degree in Political Economy from New York University. She will be graduating this semester with a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from American University in Washington, DC. Her dissertation is titled “Obstacles for Innovation in Rentier Economies: States, Elites, and the Squandering of the Demographic Dividend.” Dania is a visiting researcher at CCAS for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Ambassador Patrick Nickolas Theros has served as president and executive director of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council for nearly 20 years. Throughout his 35-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Theros held many honorable positions, including ambassador to the State of Qatar, advisor to the commander in chief, central command; deputy chief of mission and political officer in Amman; charge d’affaires and deputy chief of mission in Abu Dhabi; economic and commercial counselor in Damascus; and deputy coordinator for Counter-Terrorism. In 1990, he was accorded the personal rank of minister counselor. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1998. Ambassador Theros was awarded the President’s Meritorious Service Award for career officials and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service. He earned four Superior Honor Awards. The Emir of Qatar awarded him the Qatar Order of Merit in 1998. In 1999, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem inducted Ambassador Theros into the Order of the Holy Sepulcher. He serves on the board of several businesses and charitable and educational institutions, including Qatar Foundation International.

General Anthony C. Zinni is a retired, highly decorated United States Marine Corps general. Throughout his career, General Zinni has served as the U.S. special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in addition to posts in Somalia, Pakistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. General Zinni retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after a 39-year career that included travel to 70 countries. He ended his career as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Central Command.
Gulf International Forum panel Gulf International Forum panel
Gulf International Forum panel
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