This keynote is part of the conference, Untangling Popular Power: Rhetoric, Faith, and Social Order in the Middle East, organized by Columbia University's Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life (IRCPL). Dr. Alterman will discuss the roots of rising populism around the world. He will also analyze what is unique about Middle Eastern cases, paying particular attention to the ways in which discrete events interact with social and economic changes underway in many regional countries.
Jon B. Alterman is Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS in 2002, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Dr. Alterman also previously served as an expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group (also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission). In addition to his policy work, he often teaches Middle Eastern studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and George Washington University. Before entering government, Dr. Alterman was a scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. From 1993 to 1997, he was an award-winning teacher at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in History. Dr. Alterman received his A.B. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.