From 3-14 February, NESA professors David Des Roches and Dr. Hassan Abbas co-led the NESA Center’s Executive Seminar titled, “Understanding the Role of Iran”. The Executive Seminar is a flagship NESA program geared towards distinguished mid- to higher- level military and civilian government officials from the NESA region, with the February 2020 ES convening 43 participants from 26 countries.
The seminar brought together NESA faculty, leading subject matter experts on U.S. foreign and defense policy and NESA regional geopolitics, as well as military and civil society stakeholders from the NESA region. Lecturers included Michael Eisenstadt, Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Military and Security Studies Program; Michael Elleman, Director of Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program at the International Institute of Strategic Studies; Dr. Gary Sick, Senior Research Scholar and Professor of Middle East Politics at Colombia University; and former Ambassador Doug Silliman.
Lecture and discussion topics included Iran’s security thought and internal politics, methods of countering Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its wide range of malign regional activities, the role of great power competition in the NESA region, as well as the future trajectory of the Islamic Republic.
During their time in Washington, D.C., the ES group participated in several off-site visits including a program visit to the Middle East Institute and a tour of the U.S. Capitol building, where participants engaged with the Honorable Jonas Martin Frost, who previously represented Texas’s 24th District.