Event Details

Recently, in a historic moment for the Middle East brokered by Beijing, Saudi Arabia and Iran reestablished diplomatic relations, leaving American negotiators on the sidelines. For the past several decades, America was the trusted negotiator when significant change in the Middle East was orchestrated, and China played a secondary role – but has that changed? Hear from Dr. Robert Satloff, who has served as the Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy for more than thirty years, about what this historic agreement means for the Middle East, and America's strategic role in the region.

Preparation Materials

PCFR Program One-pager_Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China.pdfdownload


  • Dr. Robert Satloff (Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

    Dr. Robert Satloff

    Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


    Robert Satloff is Segal Executive Director of The Washington Institute, a post he assumed in January 1993. In that capacity, he oversees all Institute operations and leads the organization's unparalleled team of Middle East scholars, experts and policy practitioners. He also holds the Institute's Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy.

    An expert on Arab and Islamic politics as well as U.S. Middle East policy, Dr. Satloff has written and spoken widely on the Arab-Israeli peace process, the challenge of Political Islam, and the need to revamp U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East.

    Soon after the September 11 attacks, Dr. Satloff and his family moved to Rabat, capital of Morocco, and for more than two years, he traveled throughout the Middle East and Europe and wrote extensively on ways to inject urgency and ideas into the ideological campaign against radical Islamism. That is the topic of his collection of essays, The Battle of Ideas in the War on Terror: Essays on U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Middle East (The Washington Institute, 2004).

    During his time abroad, Dr. Satloff's personal research focused on unearthing stories of Arab "heroes" and "villains" of the Holocaust, drawing on archives, interviews, and site visits in eleven countries on four continents. His discoveries, which helped convince the German government to award compensation to Jewish survivors of labor camps in North Africa, are the subject of his bestselling book, Among the Righteous: Lost Stories of the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands (PublicAffairs, 2006). In 2010, PBS aired a one-hour documentary, hosted by Dr. Satloff and produced with MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, based on Among the Righteous. Listen to a podcast of Dr. Satloff discussing Among the Righteous as part of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Voices on Antisemitism series.

    The author or editor of nine books and monographs, Dr. Satloff's views on Middle East issues appear frequently in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A frequent commentator on major television network news programs, talk shows, and National Public Radio, he has testified on numerous occasions to Senate and House committees concerned with U.S. Middle East policy.

    In addition, Dr. Satloff is the creator and host of Dakhil Washington ("Inside Washington"), a news and interview program that has appeared weekly since 2005 on al-Hurra, the U.S. government-supported Arabic satellite television channel that beams throughout the Middle East. In that capacity, he is the only non-Arab to host a program on an Arab satellite channel.

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