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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

Trump Peace Plan: Will it Lead to Peace or More Violence? By Ellen Laipson - Jan 31, 2020

The initial reactions to President Trump’s launch of “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People” could have been predicted. Conservative Israelis and like-minded American Jews, American evangelicals and Trump’s base all celebrated this validation of the Trump-Netanyahu view of the region’s future, with Israeli security interests paramount. … Continue reading “Trump Peace Plan: Will it Lead to Peace or More Violence?”

Iraq is the Primary Victim of the US Assassination of Qassem Soleimani By Ellen Laipson - Jan 6, 2020

US-Iran relations on the brink of all-out war is the dominant narrative for the assassination of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Many observers have concluded that this fraught relationship has moved from a shadow war up the escalatory ladder and could well lead to open armed conflict between US forces in the Middle East … Continue reading “Iraq is the Primary Victim of the US Assassination of Qassem Soleimani”

Setback in Israel-Jordan Relations: A Sign of a More Serious Deterioration? By Ellen Laipson - Nov 14, 2019

The Israel-Jordan peace treaty of 1994 suffered a blow this month, when King Abdullah of Jordan announced an end to a lease arrangement made between his father, the late King Hussein, and the late Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, that permitted Israeli farmers and tourists open access to two small zones of Jordanian sovereign territory. … Continue reading “Setback in Israel-Jordan Relations: A Sign of a More Serious Deterioration?”

Don’t Expect New Directions in Israel’s Foreign Policy By Ellen Laipson - Sep 23, 2019

In Israel’s recent elections, neither Likud’s bloc nor the new Blue and White coalition achieved a 61-seat majority, so any government will require a coalition with smaller parties. Many pundits in Israel and beyond consider the early results a repudiation of Benjamin Netanyahu’s long tenure as Israeli prime minister. It may be too early to … Continue reading “Don’t Expect New Directions in Israel’s Foreign Policy”