Press Release

Track 2 Dialogue is Focus of New Middle East & North Africa Program

Program Based at New Stimson Europe Office
Featuring Brian Finlay  ·  Kawa Hassan

Washington, DC – The Stimson Center today launched a new Middle East & North Africa (MENA) program led by Kawa Hassan, program Director and Senior Fellow.

The MENA program will focus on finding common ground between regional rivals and conflicting parties through expert and political leader dialogue and policy development. It will also provide consultancy and advice on regional dynamics to a range of stakeholders. The new program continues work previously conducted at the EastWest Institute and builds on the Stimson Center’s long history of track 2 and track 1.5 dialogues and other senior level engagements.

The four-person program team is based out of the new Stimson Europe Office in Brussels. Hassan will also serve as the Executive Director of Stimson Europe. More information about Stimson Europe.

The Middle East and North Africa program will conduct four projects in support of its mission:

  • Iraq and Its Neighbors. The project supports Iraq’s transformation from a theater for proxy wars to a bridge-builder and center for regional interdependence by improving bilateral and multilateral relations with five key neighbors: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, and Kuwait.
  • Iran-Saudi Arabia Dialogue. Since 2015 the Iran-Saudi Dialogue Project has been building trust between a core group of Iranian and Saudi experts. Together they develop policy solutions in very specific areas of shared interest
  • Algeria-Morocco Business Dialogue. Numerous obstacles stand in the way of greater bilateral trade between these two neighbors. Dialogues and conferences between pragmatic business leaders from both countries aim to overcome those obstacles. 
  • The Brussels MENA Brief. An invite-only event series, the Brussels MENA Brief engages select members of the policy community in discussions of critical and current events in the region.

“The quiet but necessary work of dialogue and peacebuilding has long had a home at the Stimson Center and my team and I are proud to be part of that leadership,” said Kawa Hassan, Director of the Middle East & North Africa Program, and Executive Director of Stimson Europe. “The Middle East and North Africa are undergoing unprecedented, historical, and complex transformations. To help manage that change, we will provide a trusted platform for leaders and experts in the region to engage in confidential and constructive conversations, finding common ground and developing solutions to the crises that destabilize the region.”

“We are pleased to welcome Kawa and his team to the Stimson Center so that they can continue bridging divides across this complex region,” said Brian Finlay, President and CEO of the Stimson Center. “High-level and Track 2 international dialogue has been part of Stimson’s work for three decades, and we are excited to expand it with expertise and relationships of this caliber. I am also proud that even in these difficult times, the Stimson Center continues to prosper and grow. It is a testament to our strong team, unique approach, and the values that drive our work.”

The Stimson Center promotes international security, shared prosperity, and justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation.

For three decades, Stimson has been a leading voice on urgent global issues. Founded in the twilight years of the Cold War, the Stimson Center pioneered practical new steps toward stability and security in an uncertain world. Today, as changes in power and technology usher in a challenging new era, Stimson remains at the forefront: Engaging new voices, generating innovative ideas and analysis, and building solutions to promote international security, prosperity, and justice.

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