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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.
From March to June 2017 Michael was seconded into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving as the Senior Research Analyst for Syria and Lebanon.
Michael has twelve years of experience working in the Middle East, and has conducted research across many countries including Turkey, the Levant, Iraq and the Gulf States.
His research has focused on Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Kurdish regions of Syria, their social composition and responses to the threat from the Islamic State; Arab Shia identity across the Middle East and its relationship with Iran, which included co-authoring a Whitehall report focusing on regional responses to Iran’s nuclear programme (2014). He is also a specialist in Gulf security.
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 also regularly advises the Crown Prosecution Service on issues relating to national security, and counter terrorism.
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.