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Brookings Doha Center

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Title: Brookings Doha Center  
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Subject: Madeleine Albright, Brookings Institution, Sandy Berger, Musa Hitam, Edward Djerejian, Vartan Gregorian, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Ismail Serageldin, Wajahat Habibullah
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Brookings Doha Center

Based in Doha, Qatar, the Brookings Doha Center (BDC) is an initiative of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., that advances high-quality, independent policy analysis and research on the Middle East. The Center maintains a reputation for policy impact and cutting-edge, field-oriented research on socioeconomic and geopolitical issues facing the broader Middle East, including relations with the United States.

The Brookings Doha Center International Advisory Council is co-chaired by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, former prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the State of Qatar, and Brookings President Strobe Talbott. Members include: Madeleine Albright, Samuel Berger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Edward Djerejian, Wajahat Habibullah, Musa Hitam, Pervez Hoodhboy, Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, Nemir Kirdar, Rami Khouri, Atta-ur-Rahman, Ismail Serageldin and Fareed Zakaria. Salman Shaikh serves as the center's director.[1]

The creation of the center was announced in October 2007 by Brookings President Strobe Talbott.[2] The center was formally inaugurated by Sheikh Al-Thani on February 17, 2008.[3]


In pursuing its mission, the Brookings Doha Center conducts research and programming that engages key stakeholders from academia, business, civil society, government, and media on key public policy issues in the following core areas: (i) Democratization and political transitions in the Middle East; (ii) Middle East relations with emerging Asian nations, including on the geopolitics and economics of energy; (iii) Conflict and peace processes in the region; (iv) educational, institutional, and political reform in the Gulf countries.

Open to a broad range of views, the Brookings Doha Center is a hub for Brookings scholarship in the region. The center's research and programming agenda includes mutually reinforcing endeavors, including: convening ongoing public policy discussions with diverse political, business and thought leaders from the region and the United States; hosting visiting fellows drawn from significant ranks of the academic and policy communities to write analysis papers; and engaging the media to broadly share Brookings analysis with the public. The Brookings Doha Center also contributes to the conceptualization and organization of the annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum, which brings together key leaders in the fields of politics, business, media, academia and civil society, for much needed dialogue. In undertaking this work, the Brookings Doha Center upholds the Brookings Institution’s core values of quality, independence, and impact.[3]


Transitions Dialogue

The Brookings Doha Center’s "Transitions Dialogue" program focuses on transitional processes in the Arab world. The project is the first of its kind to bring together Islamists, Salafis, liberals and leftists, along with U.S. and European officials, to exchange ideas, develop consensus, and forge new understandings in a rapidly changing political environment. These events provide a unique opportunity for individuals to compare their nations' different transition processes and see what lessons could be learned.

The findings and recommendations from the program's workshops are documented in the Center's "Transitions Dialogue Series" publications.[4]

BDC-Stanford University Project on Arab Transitions

The "Project on Arab Transitions," is a three-year joint initiative between the BDC and the Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University. The project aims to generate comprehensive analysis of the conditions affecting democratization and good governance during the current period of Arab transition.

The project combines academic rigor, informed field research, and policy relevance to systematically analyze and illuminate the nature of Arab transitions, focusing on electoral design, constitution-drafting, political party development, and national dialogue processes. By engaging Arab and Western scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, the project provides new voices and original scholarship from the Arab region and beyond to help inform policy and development assistance to countries of strategic importance.

Outputs of the project will be:

  • Policy white papers to be presented in Washington, DC, Europe, and the Middle East to policymakers and the development community;[5]
  • A series of public events in Doha and the U.S.;
  • Private meetings with U.S., European, UN, and Arab stakeholders;
  • A funding mechanism for U.S. and Arab scholars and stakeholders to conduct field research in the Arab region.

Brookings Doha Energy Forum & Energy Research Platform

The Brookings Doha Energy Forum is a unique conference focused on systemic shifts in the global balance of energy supply and demand, which coincides with a period of unprecedented and rapid change in the Middle East. New demand centers in South and East Asia and a leveling out of demand in the United States and Europe have the potential to lead to a fundamental transformation of the region’s role and the global politics of oil and gas. With this in mind, the BDC and Brookings Energy Security Initiative developed the Brookings Doha Energy Forum.

The conference and its associated research address:

  • The growing strategic relationship between the Middle East and Asia;
  • The economic implications of an eastward shift in focus by Middle East suppliers;
  • This shift’s impact on governance and transparency in producer nations.

In addition to the annual conference, the BDC more broadly seeks to establish an energy research platform which examines global energy markets—with a focus on the Middle East and Asia—in collaboration with the Brookings Energy Security Initiative.[6]

Internships and Fellowships

Visiting Fellowship

Visiting fellows takes up residence at the BDC for a six to nine month period, during which time they conduct individual research, interact with policymaking communities, and present their research at a seminar.

Visiting fellows are drawn from mid-to-senior ranks of governments, think tanks, universities, and media from the United States, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Successful applicants generally have a PhD or broad governmental, civil society, or professional experience, as well as fluency in English.

Visiting fellows complete both a Policy Briefing and Analysis Paper during their time affiliated with the BDC.

Nonresident Fellowship

The Brookings Doha Center hosts up to three nonresident fellows for a period of one year with possibility of renewal. Candidates are accomplished scholars, analysts or former officials with a concentration that falls within one of the three main areas of the BDC’s work: democratization, political reform and public policy; emerging powers in the Middle East; and conflict and peace processes in the region.

Brookings Doha Center – Qatar University Visiting Fellowship

Over the course of a 4-6 month period, fellows teach a seminar at the university and have the opportunity to conduct original research of their own. Fellows author 1-2 policy briefs on their area of focus, to be published by Brookings. Fellows also augment the BDC research platform by producing other opinion pieces and articles as an affiliated BDC scholar.

Fellows teach a semester-long seminar (16 weeks) at Qatar University on a topic of his/her own choosing. This may be one of the courses currently offered in the QU International Affairs program (history, political science, economics, international relations), or a related subject, as defined by the fellow. Courses are discussion-based, enabling fellows to develop and refine their ideas and research in an academic setting. Fellows also supervise the research of up to four Qatar University students, thereby contributing to the intellectual life of the University.


To advance its local reach and global branding, the BDC hosts interns from the following Universities for either semester-long or summer-long terms.

  • Qatar University
  • Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Stanford University


Salman Shaikh

Salman Shaikh is director of the Brookings Doha Center and fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He focuses on mediation and conflict resolution issues facing the Middle East and South Asia. He has held posts at the United Nations and the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned in Qatar.[7]

Ibrahim Sharqieh

Ibrahim Sharqieh is a fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings and deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center. Sharqieh previously served as senior project director at the Academy for Educational Development (AED), where he managed international development projects in several Arab countries, including Yemen and Qatar. He also served as an academic advisor to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. and taught International Conflict Resolution at The George Washington, George Mason, and Catholic universities. Sharqieh received his Ph.D. from George Mason University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in 2006.[8]

Shadi Hamid

Shadi Hamid is Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on Islamist political parties and democratic reform in the Arab world. Prior to joining Brookings, he was Director of Research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Hamid currently serves as vice-chair of POMED, a member of the World Bank’s MENA Advisory Panel as well as a correspondent for The Atlantic.[9]


External links

  • Brookings Doha Center Website
  • Brookings Doha Center Twitter
  • Brookings Doha Center Facebook
  • Brookings Doha Center RSS Feed
  • Register for Brookings Doha Center Newsletter/Daily Regional Update
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