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Research Fellow for Middle East Studies
Michael Stephens is the Research Fellow for Middle East Studies and Head of RUSI Qatar. He joined RUSI’s London office in September 2010, first in the Nuclear Security Programme before moving to International Security Studies.
Michael has travelled and worked in the Middle East for ten years, and has conducted research and worked in twelve countries in the region. His recent research has focused on Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Kurdish regions of Syria, their social composition and responses to the threat from the Islamic State.
Michael has also focused on Arab Shia identity across the Middle East and its relationship with Iran, co-authoring a Whitehall report focusing on regional responses to Iran’s nuclear programme (2014). He is also a specialist in Qatari foreign policy and Gulf security, writing about issues of society and security from his base in Doha.
As a frequent commentator on Middle East affairs, his writing has appeared in many news outlets and he is also a regular broadcast commentator.
Michael studied at King’s College London and undertook three years of post-graduate research in the Middle East. He is proficient in both Arabic and Hebrew.