Jesse Marks

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow

This is the profile of a former staff member, affiliate, intern, or guest author. Biographical information is not maintained and may be out of date.

Jesse Marks is a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Stimson Center, where he principally works with the Protecting Civilians in Conflict program. His primary research focus is civilian protection, stabilization, and peacebuilding in the Middle East, particularly in Syria. He has published analyses with the Hill, Huffington Post, and the U.S.-Middle East Youth Network. Prior to joining Stimson, Marks interned with the Migration Policy Institute in the international migration program and with Blue Path Labs LLC as an Arabic Research Analyst. Previously, he served as a David L. Boren scholar in Jordan where he studied Arabic from 2015-2016 at the Qasid Language Institute. While in Jordan, he interned for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative to Jordan and with Jordan Center for Strategic Studies as a Research Assistant. He holds a B.A. in Middle East Studies with a focus in national security and Arabic.

Research & Writing

Preventing Forced Return in Lebanon and the Greater Levant

By Jesse Marks The Syrian refugee crisis has created enormous burdens for Syria’s neighbors — and none more so than Lebanon, which accounts for the highest refugee per capita in the world at 1.5 million Syrian refugees. The pressure of hosting so many…

Stimson in the News
Jesse Marks’ op-ed in World Politics Review on ending Syrian sieges with diplomacy

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, called them “starve, surrender and slaughter” tactics. Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called them a “war crime.” Sieges have been especially brutal on civilians in Syria’s civil wa…

Stimson in the News
Jesse Marks’ and Alexander Decina’s op-ed in Foreign Affairs on protecting civilians in Syrian safe zones

As Russia’s “de-escalation plan” for the ongoing war in Syria takes effect, neighboring countries are keen to return massive Syrian refugee populations to the four safe zones that the plan establishes in the western part of the country. Key leaders in…

Stimson in the News
Alex Decina and Jesse Marks Op-ed in The Cipher Brief on Russia’s De-escalation Plan for Syria

Early last month, Russia put forward a “de-escalation” plan for Syria under which major opposition-held territories in western parts of the country, including northwestern Idlib province, northern Homs countryside, the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus…

Stimson in the News
Alexander Decina and Jesse Marks’ Op-ed in Defense One on Potential US – Iran Confrontation in Syria

The United States is treading a narrow line in southeastern Syria, attempting to counter Iranian expansion without exacerbating the conflict or further embroiling American troops. A recent push by Iranian-backed groups toward a base used by U…

Stimson in the News
Alexander Decina and Jesse Marks’ Op-ed in Defense One on Russian Safe Zones in Syria

If there was any doubt the Russians are now leading diplomatic efforts on Syria, the latest round of Astana talks made it abundantly clear. On May 4, Russia reached an agreement with Turkey and Iran to create safe zones — “de-escalation zones,” in…

Stimson in the News
Jesse Marks’ Op-Ed in The Hill on Trump’s Budget Plans

While the potential government shutdown is drawing headlines this week, President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget should be raising even more eyebrows. Simply put: Trump’s proposed radical cuts to foreign aid would worsen the Syrian crisis and undermine t…

Stimson in the News
Jesse Marks’ Op-Ed in The National Interest on Trump in Syria

In 2013, Obama’s red line in Syria following the regime’s use of chemical weapons failed to produce any real intervention. Tuesday’s chemical weapon attack in Idlib, shadowing the Brussels conference where seventy countries gathered on the same day to…

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