Trump and the Arab World:
First Year Assessment and Policy Recommendations

Thursday, October 26, 2017
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

JW Marriott Washington, DC
Salon I and Salon II of the Grand Ballroom
1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004

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Conference Agenda

08:30 AM –  Registration and Breakfast

09:00 AM – Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Khalil Jahshan
Executive Director, Arab Center Washington DC
Former President, National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA)

09:10 AM – Opening Keynote
US Policy in the Arab World: An Arab Perspective

The opening keynote will provide a general assessment of US policy in the Middle East, and an analysis of the current administration’s performance and the development of US policy vis-à-vis Middle East issues.

Tarek Mitri
Director, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut; Former Lebanese minister of several ministries (Information, Culture, Foreign Affairs, the Environment, and Administrative Reform); Former special representative and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya

09:45 AM – What Arabs Want: Arab Public Opinion and US Policy

This session will feature the official press release of the survey findings of Arab Center Washington DC’s poll of Arab public perceptions and assessments of the Trump Administration. The press release will be followed by commentary from experts in Arab public opinion research.

Tamara Kharroub
Senior Analyst and Assistant Executive Director, Arab Center Washington DC

Dalia Mogahed
Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding; Former Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies; Former President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Shibley Telhami
Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, UMD-College Park; Member of Academic Advisory Board, Arab Center Washington DC

11:00 AM – Coffee Break

11:15 AM – US Policy and Political and Economic Challenges in the Arab World

This panel will focus on assessing the current political and economic situation in Arab countries and the role of US policy in recent developments. The panelists will analyze the repercussions of the political upheavals and subsequent interventions in several Arab countries, and provide insights into the Trump Administration’s positions thus far and its potential policy agendas.

Phyllis Bennis
Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies

Perry Cammack
Fellow, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Hani Findakly
CEO, Potomac Capital; Investment banker and advisor to governments, central banks, international institutions

Najib Ghadbian
Associate Professor of Political Science, King Fahd Center, University of Arkansas; Special Representative to the US for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces

Dina Khoury – Moderator
Professor of History and International Affairs, George Washington University; Member of Academic Advisory Board, Arab Center Washington DC

12:30 PM – Lunch Keynote
US Policy in the Arab World: An American Perspective

This luncheon will feature a keynote speech by a US diplomat or former diplomat with experience in the Arab world, discuss Trump’s positions and policies in the region, and provide policy recommendations.

US State Department Official (TBC)

02:00 PM – US-Gulf Relations and US Policy in the Arabian Gulf

This session will focus on assessing US relations and policies toward the Arab Gulf countries, with a discussion of the recent GCC crisis, military deals, economic and trade relations, positions toward Iran, and the war in Yemen, with policy recommendations and analyses of future directions.

Abdullah Baabood
Director, Gulf Studies Program, Qatar University

Sheila Carapico
Professor of Political Science and International Studies, University of Richmond; Coordinator, International Studies Program, University of Richmond

David Des Roches
Senior Military Fellow, Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies; Former appointments at the Office of the Secretary of Defense

Barbara Slavin
Director, Future of Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council

Khalid Al-Jaber – Moderator
Assistant Professor, Gulf Studies Program, Qatar University; Editor-in-Chief, The Peninsula, Qatar’s leading English language daily newspaper

03:15 PM – Coffee Break

03:30 PM – US Policy Recommendations in the Arab World

This panel will address the future outlook for the Trump Administration in the Arab world, with special discussion and policy recommendations focusing on democratization, human rights, governance reforms, countering violent extremism, the future of political Islam, and nation-building.

Marwan Kabalan
Associate Researcher, Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS); Director, Policy Analysis Unit, ACRPS

Rami Khouri
Journalism Professor & Public Policy Senior Fellow, American University of Beirut; Non-resident Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School;

Ibrahim Fraihat
Associate Professor, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies; Former Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Brookings Institution’s Doha Center and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Qatar

Ellen Laipson
Distinguished Fellow and President Emeritus, Stimson Center

Laurie King – Moderator
Associate Teaching Professor of Anthropology, Georgetown University; Member of Academic Advisory Board, Arab Center Washington DC

04:50 PM – Closing Remarks

Imad Harb
Director of Research and Analysis, Arab Center Washington DC

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