Organized by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies with the co-sponsorship of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Burkle Center for International Relations, and Center for Middle East Development.
Ambassador Hesham Youssef was a career diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. From 2014-2019, he served as Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and completed his term in July 2019. From 2001-2014, he served as a senior official in the Arab League, as Official Spokesman and later the Chief of Staff to Secretary General Amr Moussa from 2003- 2011. From 2012-2014, Mr. Youssef was a Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the Arab League, Dr. Nabil Elaraby, on issues pertaining to crisis management as well as the reform of the Arab League. Amb. Youssef has worked extensively on conflict resolution in the Middle East and in particular the Arab Israeli conflict, reconciliation in Iraq and the situation in Sudan. He has written several papers on reform in the Arab world and focused in the last five years on fragility and the humanitarian situation in the Islamic world, in particular in Somalia, the Palestinian Territories, Chad, Niger and Myanmar. Amb. Youssef graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Faculty of Science, Cairo University, in 1980. From 1980-83, he taught at Cairo University, the American University in Cairo, and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He holds master’s degrees from St. John’s College (New Mexico) and the American University in Cairo.
Dalia Dassa Kaye is director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Before joining RAND, Kaye lived in The Netherlands where she served as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow at the Dutch Foreign Ministry and taught at the University of Amsterdam. In 2011-2012 she was a visiting professor and fellow at UCLA’s International Institute and Burkle Center. From 1998-2003 Kaye was an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University. She is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Brookings Institution research fellowship and The John W. Gardner Fellowship for Public Service. Kaye publishes widely on Middle East regional security issues, including in outlets like Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, U.S. News, The National Interest, Survival, and the Washington Quarterly. She has appeared in many media outlets, including BBC, CNN, MSNBC and NPR. She is author of Talking to the Enemy: Track Two Diplomacy in the Middle East and South Asia (RAND), Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process (Columbia University Press) and has co-authored a number of RAND monographs on a range of regional security issues. Kaye received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ehud Eiran is assistant professor of International Relations at the School of Political Science, University of Haifa. He is also a visiting researcher at Stanford University’s Political Science Department. Eiran holds degrees in Law and Political Science from Tel Aviv, Cambridge, and Brandeis Universities. He held research appointments at Harvard Law School, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and Brandeis University and was a lecturer at the Department of Political Science at MIT. Prior to his academic career Eiran held a number of positions in the Israeli civil service including Assistant to the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Advisor. Eiran has published numerous analytical essays and papers in popular and scholarly outlets including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Newsweek.
Kevan Harris is Assistant Professor of Sociology at UCLA. He teaches courses on international development and the Middle East. He is the author of the book, A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran (University of California Press).
Dov Waxman is a Professor and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA, and director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. An award-winning teacher, he joined the UCLA faculty in January 2020 from Northeastern University, where he was professor of political science, international affairs, and Israel studies, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University. He also co-directed the university’s Middle East Center.