Breakout Sessions

Expert-led Breakout Sessions offer a remarkable opportunity for students and attendees to discuss a theme more deeply with an expert in an intimate setting. Breakout Sessions take place on Saturday afternoon from 4:30pm-6:30pm in various rooms on campus.

Information about the specific Breakout Sessions will be posted shortly.


Political Islam

  • Mowaffak al Rubaie | Former National Security Advisor, Iraq; former Member of Parliament, Iraq
  • Mohammed S Dajani Daoudi | Founder and Executive Director, Wasatiyya, Moderate Islamic Movement in Palestine; Founding Director, American Studies Institute, Al Quds University
  • Robert P. Parks | Director, Centre d'Etudes Maghrebines en Algerie (American Institute for Maghrib Studies)

State of the State

  • Nimrod Hurvitz | Professor of Middle East History, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  • Jonathan Shimshoni | Retired Battalion and Brigade Commander, Israeli Defense Forces; Author, Israel and Conventional Deterrence


  • Ahmed Benchemsi | Visiting Scholar, Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, Stanford University; Founding Publisher and Editor, TelQuel (French) and Nishan (Arabic)
  • Amahl Bishara | Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Tufts University; Author, “New Media and Political Change in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Assembling Media Worlds and Cultivating Networks of Care”
  • Nabih Bulos | Violinist, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra; Journalist

Rule of Law & Human Rights

  • Saad Eddin Ibrahim | Founder, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, Egypt
  • Sherif Mansour | Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists; former Senior Program Officer, Freedom House
  • Dalia Ziada | Executive Director, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, Egypt

Iran and Nuclear Proliferation

  • Ariel Levite | Nonresident Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Former Principal Deputy Director General for policy, Israeli Atomic Energy Commission
  • Ali Vaez | Senior Analyst for Iran, International Crisis Group

Trauma and Resilience

  • Justine Hardy | Mental Trauma Specialist; Writer


  • Gideon Argov | Founder, Shlomo Argov Fellows, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel; Advisory Director, Berkshire Partners
  • Dick Simon | Chair and Co-Founder, Peace Action Network, Young Presidents’ Organization


  • Robert Blecher | Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa, International Crisis Group
  • Mouin Rabbani | Head, Programme in the Middle East, Conflict Management Initiative

Gulf politics

  • Sami al Faraj | President, Kuwait Centre for Strategic Studies
  • Abeer Allam | Journalist; Saudi Arabia Correspondent, Financial Times


  • Aaron Zelin | Richard Borow Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, King’s College of London


  • Mike Niconchuk | Emergency Response Coordinator, Questscope
  • Curt Rhodes | Founder and International Director, Questscope; Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East and North Africa, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship