On this week’s episode of “What’s Next?” Maggie Feldman-Piltch interviews David Pollock, the Kaufman fellow at The Washington Institute. Pollock focuses on the political dynamics of Middle East countries. He is also 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.
The Middle East is at the forefront of policy debates.The discussion includes issues of conflict, terror and extremism, oil, geopolitics, religion, and boundaries. In the wake of regional proxy wars, OPEC negotiations, and migration crisis that pull together global powers, how can the U.S. use its hard and soft power? What are the limits to these tools? Dr. Pollock and Maggie also discuss the role of morality and history in US action in the region, and humanitarian intervention.
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.
About “What’s Next?”
“What’s Next?” is American Security Project’s weekly, non-partisan podcast series featuring interviews with national security leaders and critical issue experts. Each episode runs about 30 minutes- making it the perfect addition to your DC commute.
Hosted by Maggie Feldman-Piltch and produced by Matthew Wallin, the conversations go beyond the dinner party commentary and offer guests the opportunity to discuss their vision for security in the 21st century, the strategy that vision requires, and what it means for America going forward- in less time than it takes you to get to work. With topics ranging from geo-economics to nuclear security, cultural diplomacy to energy security and asymmetric operations, “What’s Next?” is one of the many ways ASP works to raise the American public’s understanding of complex security issues we face.