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Simon Henderson

Baker Fellow
Director, Gulf and Energy Policy Program

Tel: 202-230-9550 (media inquiries only) 202-452-0650 (all other inquiries)

Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Institute's Gulf and Energy Policy Program, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

Areas of Expertise

Persian Gulf States , Energy and Economics, Gulf and Energy Policy, Proliferation

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Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf. A former journalist with Financial Times, Mr. Henderson has also worked as a consultant advising corporations and governments on the Persian Gulf. He became an associate of the Institute in 1999 and joined the staff in 2006. He started his career with the British Broadcasting Corporation before joining the Financial Times. His experience includes serving as a foreign correspondent in Pakistan in 1977-78, and reported from Iran during the 1979 Islamic revolution and seizure of the U.S. embassy.

Mr. Henderson writes and appears frequently in the media discussing the internal political dynamics of the House of Saud, energy developments, events in the Gulf, and Pakistan's nuclear program, including the work of Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan.

In 1994, The Washington Institute published Mr. Henderson's Policy Paper After King Fahd: Succession in Saudi Arabia (2nd ed. 1995), widely considered the definitive work on the subject. His 2009 Policy Focus, After King Abdullah, is an update of his previous work. Mr Henderson's latest publication is Nuclear Iran: A Glossary of Terms, coauthored with former IAEA official Olli Heinonen and copublished with the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is also the author of Instant Empire: Saddam Hussein's Ambition for Iraq (Mercury House, 1991), a biography of the former Iraqi leader, and the 2003 Washington Institute Policy Paper The New Pillar: Conservative Arab Gulf States and U.S. Strategy.

In 1987, Mr. Henderson received a U.S. International Visitors Grant, and in 1990 was awarded the Dayan Fellowship at Tel Aviv University. He was a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute in 1993 and 2000.


Download a PDF of  Mr. Henderson's May 20, 2014 presentation to Harvard University's Belfer Center on Saudi royal succession and evolving military relations, including key figures in the Pakistani defense and nuclear establishments.


In a Fox News exclusive, never-before-seen A. Q. Khan photographs and documents supplied to Fox by Mr Henderson were featured in a TV special: "Fox News Reporting: Iran's Nuclear Secrets," which aired on Sept. 18, 2011. The documents include his thirteen-page confession to government authorities, a dramatic letter to his wife, and a Pakistani intelligence service report on Khan.



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MBA, Cass Business School, London; BA, Nottingham University, UK

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Nuclear Iran: A Glossary

March 16, 2015

Policy Focus

After King Abdullah:

August 13, 2009

Policy Focus

After King Fahd:

September 1, 1994

Policy Papers

Energy in Danger:

June 3, 2008

Policy Focus

The New Pillar:

December 31, 2002

Policy Papers

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