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Alumni Spotlight: Reza Akbari

Reza H. Akbari

Reza H. Akbari received his MA in Middle East Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs in 2012. While at the Elliott School, Reza interned at the U.S. Treasury Department and The Century Foundation. He is currently a Program Manager at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, a nonprofit organization that focuses on strengthening media and civil society worldwide. In September 2019, Reza began attending American University to pursue a PhD in History. He plans to focus on modern Middle East and study the process of formation, evolution, and impact of political parties in semi-authoritarian states. Reza has previously served as a Research Associate for the Iran Program at the Middle East Institute and a Research Assistant at the Wilson Center. He has written for a number of publications, including Foreign Policy, CNN’s Global Public Square, Jadaliyya, and Al Monitor. Reza holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies from the State University of New York at Fredonia. His master’s thesis explored the potential for political reconciliation in Bahrain.

Advice for students:

I highly recommend taking any course taught by Professors Nathan Brown, Marc Lynch, and Ambassador Edward Gnehm. They provide a tremendous amount of practical experience as well as academic rigor. Professor Lynch constantly challenges preconceived notions and theories about the region by inviting his students to consider alternative viewpoints. Ambassador Gnehm’s experience as a former diplomat enriches every lecture. Professor Brown is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable individuals on Middle East affairs. He is able to explain the most complex issues in simple terms and inspire lively class debates.