February 21, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two Washington Institute scholars — Lane-Swig Senior Fellow and Managing Director Michael Singh and Senior Fellow Dana Stroul — have been appointed as the respective Republican and Democratic co-chairs of the Congressionally-mandated Syria Study Group, the research institution announced today.
"It would have been an honor for Congress to ask one of my colleagues to lead this this important Congressional initiative to provide practical policy advice on the thorny problem of Syria, but it is truly amazing that Congress asked our experts to fill both leadership slots," said Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. "The appointments of Mike and Dana underscore the values of professional excellence, policy relevance, and political non-partisanship that are hallmarks of our organization."
The twelve-member Syria Study Group will “examine and make recommendations on the military and diplomatic strategy of the United States with respect to the conflict in Syria," according to the bill signed into law on October 5, 2018. The legislation mandates the "full and timely cooperation" of the Secretaries of Defense and State, as well as the Director of National Intelligence. A final report is due to Congress in April 2019.
Modeled on the Iraq Study Group formed in 2006, the Syria Study Group will consist of outside experts appointed by the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker and minority leader of the House.
Singh, appointed by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), has been the managing director of the Washington Institute since 2011. Previously, he served as the senior director for the Middle East at the National Security Council from 2005 to 2008. He has written extensively on the Middle East, broader U.S. national security strategy, and the organization and management of the U.S. national security apparatus.
Stroul, appointed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), joined the Washington Institute in December 2018 from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she served five years as a senior professional staff member under ranking member Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Stroul also spent five years in the Middle East policy office of the Secretary of Defense, focusing on U.S.-Egypt relations, the U.S. military drawdown in Iraq, and a review of U.S. government policies and programs in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.
Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.