Sanam Vakil

Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, MENA programme

Chatham House

Sanam Vakil is the deputy director of the Middle East North Africa Programme, where she leads the Future Dynamics in the Gulf project and the Iran Forum. Sanam’s research focuses regional security, Gulf geopolitics and on future trends in Iran’s domestic and foreign policy. She follows wider Middle Eastern issues as a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, associated with the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. She is also the James Anderson professorial lecturer in the Middle East Studies department at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS Europe) in Bologna, Italy. Before these appointments, Sanam was an assistant professor of Middle East Studies at SAIS Washington. She served as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations also providing research analysis to the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa department. Sanam is the author of Action and Reaction: Women and Politics in Iran (Bloomsbury 2013). She publishes analysis and comments for a variety of media and academic outlets. Sanam received her BA in political science and history from Barnard College, Columbia University and her MA/PhD in international relations and international economics from Johns Hopkins University.

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