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David Pollock

Bernstein Fellow
Director, Project Fikra

Tel: 202-230-9550 (media inquiries only) 202-452-0650 (all other inquiries)
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David Pollock is the Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute, focusing on regional political dynamics and related issues.

Areas of Expertise

Iraq, Israel, North Africa, Palestinians, Arab and Islamic Politics, Arab-Israeli Relations, Democracy and Reform, Peace Process

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Biography

David Pollock, the Bernstein fellow at The Washington Institute, focuses on the political dynamics of Middle East countries. He is the director of Project Fikra, a program of research, publication, and network-building designed to generate policy ideas for promoting positive change and countering the spread of extremism in the Middle East. At the forefront of this effort is Fikra Forum, a unique Arabic-English bilingual online platform that promotes exchanges between mainstream Muslims and Arab democrats and U.S. decisionmakers and opinion leaders.

Dr. Pollock served previously as senior advisor for the Broader Middle East at the State Department, a post he assumed in 2002. In that capacity, he provided policy advice on issues of democracy and reform in the region, with a focus on women's rights. He also helped launch the department's $15 million Iraqi Women's Democracy Initiative and the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, working directly with advocates across the Middle East.

From 1996 to 2001, Dr. Pollock served in several other State Department policy advisory positions covering South Asia and the Middle East, including four years as regional expert on the secretary of state's Policy Planning Staff. Previously, he was chief of Near East/South Asia/Africa research at the U.S. Information Agency, where he supervised the government's study of public opinion, elite attitudes, and media content across the three regions. In 1995-1996, he was a scholar-in-residence at The Washington Institute, where he authored the widely read Policy Paper The 'Arab Street'? Public Opinion in the Arab World.

Dr. Pollock has served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University and as assistant professor at George Washington University. He has traveled widely in the Middle East and maintains a large network of contacts in government, academia, and business throughout the region.

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Education

Ph.D., Harvard University; B.A., Harvard College

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Languages Spoken / Read

  • Arabic
  • French
  • Hebrew

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Publications

The Lines That Bind: 100 Years of Sykes-Picot

December 19, 2016

Policy Focus

Syrian Kurds as a U.S. Ally:

November 18, 2016

Policy Focus

Mixed Messages:

April 20, 2016

Policy Focus

Actions, Not Just Attitudes:

June 17, 2010

Policy Focus

Slippery Polls:

April 11, 2008

Policy Focus

Kuwait: Keystone of U.S. Gulf Policy

November 6, 2007

Policy Focus

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Most Recent Analysis

Sending the Right Message in Cairo: Advice for Secretary Pompeo

January 7, 2019

How the United States Can Still Keep Faith With Its Best Allies in Syria

January 3, 2019

Very Cautious Arab Media Reactions to U.S. Syria Exit, Plus Mattis Exit

December 21, 2018

UAE Public Privately Split on Key Issues, New Poll Reveals

December 17, 2018

New Saudi Poll: Corruption a Major Concern, Divisions on Reforms and U.S. Ties

December 11, 2018

In Egypt, One-Third Still Like the Muslim Brotherhood; Half Call U.S. Ties "Important"

December 10, 2018

Doubts About Hezbollah Emerge in Lebanon, Even Among Shia

December 10, 2018

For a State, Palestinians Would Cede "Right of Return"—and More

December 3, 2018

New Data on Iraqi Political Trends:

Parsing the Regional Implications

November 8, 2018

New Polls: West Bankers Oppose Both Armed Revolt and U.S. Talks

November 8, 2018

See all analysis by this author