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Matthew Levitt

Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
Fromer-Wexler Fellow

Tel: 202-230-9550 (media inquiries only) 202-452-0650 (all other inquiries)
press@washingtoninstitute.org

Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

Areas of Expertise

Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism

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Biography

Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. From 2005 to early 2007, he served as deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In that capacity, he served both as a senior official within the department's terrorism and financial intelligence branch and as deputy chief of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, one of sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies coordinated under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. During his tenure at Treasury, Dr. Levitt played a central role in efforts to protect the U.S. financial system from abuse and to deny terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other rogue actors the ability to finance threats to U.S. national security. In 2008-2009, he served as a State Department counterterrorism advisor to the special envoy for Middle East regional security (SEMERS), General James L. Jones.

From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Levitt served the Institute as founding director of its Terrorism Research Program (now renamed as above), which was established in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Previously, he served as a counterterrorism intelligence analyst at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he provided tactical and strategic analytical support for counterterrorism operations, focusing on fundraising and logistical support networks for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. During his FBI service, Dr. Levitt participated as a team member in a number of crisis situations, including the terrorist threat surrounding the turn of the millennium and the September 11 attacks. He has earned numerous awards and commendations for his government service at both the FBI and the Treasury Department.

Dr. Levitt holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Yeshiva University, as well as a master's degree in law and diplomacy and a doctorate from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He was a graduate research fellow at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation and has taught at both Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Levitt has served as an expert witness in several criminal and civil cases, lectured on international terrorism on behalf of the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security, consulted for various U.S. government agencies and private industry, and testified before the Senate and House on matters relating to international terrorism. He has held fellowships with the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Homeland Security Policy Institute at the George Washington University, is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves as a member of the international advisory board for both the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel and the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research in Singapore.

Dr. Levitt has written extensively on terrorism, countering violent extremism, illicit finance and sanctions, the Middle East, and Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, with articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals, policy magazines, and the press, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and numerous other publications. He is also a frequent guest on the national and international media, and the author of several books and monographs, including Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale University Press, 2006), Negotiating Under Fire: Preserving Peace Talks in the Face of Terror Attacks (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), and Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God (Georgetown University Press, 2013).

 

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Publications

Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God

March 4, 2013

Monographs and Special Studies

No Good Outcome:

November 26, 2013

Policy Focus

Fighting the Ideological Battle

July 8, 2010

Strategic Reports

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Most Recent Analysis

The Khorasan Group Should Scare Us

September 25, 2014

Qatar's Not-So-Charitable Record on Terror Finance

September 24, 2014

Funding ISIS (Infographic)

September 12, 2014

Hezbollah's Syrian Quagmire

September 11, 2014

Ten Things You Need to Know about ISIS

September 4, 2014

While Still Risky, Military Intervention Against ISIS May Be the Only Good Option

September 4, 2014

What Is Hizbullah? Domestic Aspects and International Influence

August 19, 2014

Is 'Reconstruction for Demilitarisation' the Way Forward in Gaza?

August 7, 2014

Gaza Is Not About to Become an Islamic State

August 7, 2014

What Is Hezbollah Doing in Europe?

July 24, 2014

See all analysis by this author

Selected Outside Publications

"Hamas's Ideological Crisis," in Current Trends in Islamist Ideology (2009)

"Foreign Fighters and Their Economic Impact: A Case Study of Syria and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)," in Perspectives on Terrorism September (2009)

"Hezbollah Finances: Funding the Party of God," in Terrorism Financing and State Responses: a Comparative Perspective (Stanford University Press, 2007)

"Hamas Social Welfare: In the Service of Terror," in The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training, and Root Causes (New York: Praeger Publishers, 2005)

"The Impact of Acute Security Crises on the Process of Ongoing Negotiations: Lessons from the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process, 1993-1996" (Ph.D. dissertation, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 2005).

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