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Ellen Laipson

Ellen Laipson is the director of the International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. She joined GMU from the Stimson Center, where she was president and CEO (2002-2015) and continues as president emeritus and distinguished fellow. Her tenure at Stimson followed a quarter century of government service. She serves on a number of academic and other non-governmental boards related to international security and diplomacy, and is a weekly columnist for worldpoliticsreview.com. Her last post in government was vice chair of the National Intelligence Council (1997-2002). She also worked on the State Department’s policy planning staff, the National Security Council staff and the Congressional Research Service. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she currently serves on the advisory councils of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Notre Dame International Security Center, and on the board of the Diplomacy Center Foundation. From 2003 to 2015, she was a member of the board of the Asia Foundation. She was a member of the CIA External Advisory Panel from 2006-2009, President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2009-2013, and on the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board 2011-2014. Laipson has an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and an AB from Cornell University.

Articles By Ellen Laipson

Is Iran and China’s New Strategic Partnership a Game Changer for the Middle East? By Ellen Laipson - Apr 11, 2021

Late in March, the strategic partnership between Iran and China moved to a new phase. It was  first launched in 2016 during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran but on March 27, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed an expanded version of the 2016 statement in Tehran, pledging bilateral cooperation on political, cultural, security … Continue reading “Is Iran and China’s New Strategic Partnership a Game Changer for the Middle East?”

Biden Strikes Syrian Sites – What’s The Impact on Iraq and Iran? By Ellen Laipson - Mar 2, 2021

In only its sixth week in office, the Biden administration has already used military force in the Middle East. Seven bombs were dropped on a group of buildings in Syria associated with pro-Iran Shia militias, allegedly responsible for a recent attack on a US and coalition base outside Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The … Continue reading “Biden Strikes Syrian Sites – What’s The Impact on Iraq and Iran?”

For a Hint of Biden’s Foreign Policy Plans, Look to Libya By Ellen Laipson - Nov 11, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is no novice when it comes to the Middle East, or to foreign policy in general. He would probably relish the opportunity to reestablish friendly relations with world leaders, even those in Jerusalem and Riyadh who may believe they have the most to lose with Donald Trump’s defeat. But his advisors warn … Continue reading “For a Hint of Biden’s Foreign Policy Plans, Look to Libya”