CISSM Forum | February 07, 2013

“Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran”

by Flynt Leverett, Professor at Pennsylvania State University's School of International Affairs, and Hillary Mann Leverett, Senior Professional Lecturer, American University

Flynt Leverett is a professor at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs and is a Visiting Scholar at Peking University’s School of International Studies.

Dr. Leverett is a leading authority on the Middle East and Persian Gulf, U.S. foreign policy, and global energy affairs. From 1992 to 2003, he had a distinguished career in the U.S. government, serving as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, and as a CIA Senior Analyst. He left the George W. Bush Administration and government service in 2003 because of disagreements about Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror.

Dr. Leverett holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Hillary Mann Leverett is a Senior Professorial Lecturer at the American University in Washington, DC and a Visiting Scholar at Peking University in Beijing, China.  She has also taught at Yale University, where she was a Senior Lecturer and inaugural Senior Research Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.  She is also CEO of Strategic Energy and Global Analysis (STRATEGA), a political risk consultancy. 

Mrs. Leverett has more than 20 years of academic, legal, business, diplomatic, and policy experience working on Middle Eastern issues. In the George W. Bush Administration, she worked as Director for Iran, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council, Middle East expert on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, and Political Advisor for Middle East, Central Asian and African issues at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. From 2001-2003, she was one of a small number of U.S. diplomats authorized to negotiate with the Iranians over Afghanistan, al-Qa’ida and Iraq. In the Clinton Administration, Leverett also served as Political Advisor for Middle East, Central Asian and African issues for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Associate Director for Near Eastern Affairs at the National Security Council, and Special Assistant to the Ambassador at the U.S. embassy in Cairo. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a Watson Fellowship, and in 1990-1991 worked in the U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Israel, and was part of the team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait after the first Gulf War.

Mrs. Leverett holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies from Brandeis University.

Dr. Leverett and Mrs. Leverett have both published and been quoted widely. Their new book is Going to Tehran:  Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic (2013).