Marwan Muasher

Vice President for Studies
Muasher is vice president for studies at Carnegie, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East.


PhD, Purdue University


Arabic; English


Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at Carnegie, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Muasher served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan, and his career has spanned the areas of diplomacy, development, civil society, and communications.

Muasher began his career as a journalist for the Jordan Times. He then served at the Ministry of Planning, at the prime minister’s office as press adviser, and as director of the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington.

In 1995, Muasher opened Jordan’s first embassy in Israel, and in 1996 he became minister of information and the government spokesperson. From 1997 to 2002, he served in Washington again as ambassador, negotiating the first free-trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. He then returned to Jordan to serve as foreign minister, where he played a central role in developing the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East roadmap.

In 2004, he became deputy prime minister responsible for reform and government performance and led the effort to produce a ten-year plan for political, economic, and social reform. From 2006 to 2007, he was a member of the Jordanian Senate.

From 2007 to 2010, he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank.

He is the author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation (Yale University Press, 2008) and The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism (Yale University Press, 2014).

  • Refugees
    Q&A October 1, 2015
    The Roots of Europe’s Refugee Crisis

    The refugee crisis is impacting political stability in the Middle East and Europe. How should leaders respond to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II?

  • Syria in Crisis December 29, 2014
    The Middle East in 2015: What to Watch

    Carnegie scholars assess the Middle East in the year ahead, including potential game changers that could have a big impact for the future of the region.

  • Year in Crisis December 10, 2014 Русский 中文
    The World in 2015

    Our take on the year ahead.

  • Syria in Crisis October 28, 2014
    Tunisian Parliamentary Elections: Lessons for the Arab World

    Nearly four years into its transition, Tunisia has successfully navigated multiple political crises, produced a constitution, and staged successful parliamentary elections. The country exemplifies that democracy can be successful in the Arab world.

  • Op-Ed Project Syndicate September 25, 2014
    Lebanon’s Model of Moderation

    The international community should move beyond military aid to support Lebanon’s real strengths: its moderate, pluralist, and vibrant society.

  • Q&A August 14, 2014 Русский 中文
    Is the World Falling Apart?

    The world can be an awfully dangerous and unpredictable place.

  • Q&A July 28, 2014 عربي
    What the Gaza War Means for the Middle East

    With intensifying international pressure to end hostilities, a brief lull in fighting currently prevails in Gaza. But a formal ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has proven elusive.

  • Op-Ed World Post July 8, 2014 عربي
    How the Iraq Crisis Highlights a Need for Inclusion Policies Across the Middle East

    The real story in Iraq, and the Middle East at large, is the policies of exclusion that have created an environment in which radical organizations like ISIS have been able to gain ground.

  • Article June 10, 2014 عربي
    Jordan’s Ambiguous Syria Policy

    Amman is increasingly pursuing a policy of supporting neither the regime nor the opposition in Syria while quietly working to help resolve the conflict. It has few other options.

  • Cairo Review of Global Affairs May 14, 2014
    The Call of Pluralism

    The second Arab Awakening has just begun, and the end may not be known in this generation’s lifetime. But this is a battle worth waging and winning—the battle for pluralism across the Arab world.

  • CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS February 8, 2015
    Radicalism in the Arab World

    Building stability and prosperity is going to take a lot more work than military strikes.

  • NPR’s Diane Rehm Show February 5, 2015
    Jordan’s Role in the Fight Against ISIS

    A strategy of political openness and economic opportunity must be put hand-in-hand with the military campaign against the Islamic State.

  • BBC February 4, 2015
    Jordan’s War With ISIS

    The fight against the Islamic State is an ideological battle as much as it is a military one.

  • PBS’ NewsHour February 3, 2015
    Jordan Finds ‘No Compromise Is Possible’ With Islamic State

    The Islamic State needs to be fought militarily, but the underlying causes of frustration and marginalization also have to be addressed.

  • CNN International January 28, 2015
    Jordan Caught Between Two Bad Situations

    Jordan’s participation in the fight against the Islamic State, particularly outside its borders, is problematic to some Jordanians. With the pilot hostage situation, the government is caught between two very bad situations.

  • KPCC Airtalk January 23, 2015
    A Vacuum of Leadership in the Middle East

    The Arab world is facing a vacuum of leadership. It is a new era, one that still has unknown repercussions.

  • CNN’s Lead with Jake Tapper September 23, 2014
    Regional Countries Must Take Important Role in Fight Against ISIS

    While the Islamic State can be defeated militarily, the United States and regional countries will need to prevent the creation of more groups like it in the future.

  • PBS Newshour September 18, 2014
    What Role Should Mideast Countries Play in Islamic State Fight?

    Countries in the Middle East have to rise up to the plate and help put in place a political process that tries to address the underlying causes that have led to the emergence of radical groups like the Islamic State.

  • CNN September 11, 2014
    No Military Role for Arab States

    While countries like Jordan will not participate militarily in the U.S. strategy against ISIS, it will provide much needed logistical and intelligence support and connections with the Sunni tribes of Iraq.

  • Aspen Institute June 29, 2014
    Arab Spring or Middle East Chaos?

    The age of ideology in the Arab world is drawing to a close.

  • April 29, 2015 Beirut عربي
    Political Transformations in the Middle East and North Africa

    In celebration of the Carnegie Middle East Center’s tenth anniversary, Carnegie-affiliated scholars and regional policymakers will discuss and evaluate political transformations in the Middle East and North Africa.

  • February 12, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Battle Against the Islamic State: Where Do We Go From Here?

    Six months since the creation of the international coalition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), the military campaign is entering a new phase following the gruesome murder of a Jordanian pilot and the defeat of IS in Kobane last month.

  • October 29, 2014
    Complicated Coalition Dynamics: Fighting "Terrorism" and Other Priorities

    This panel examined the role of the Gulf States, Jordan, and Turkey in the international coalition against the Islamic State

  • October 29, 2014
    The Islamic State, Iraq, and the Levant: Support and Nation-Building in Weak States

    This panel considered the political, security, and humanitarian situation in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and the threat posed by the rise of Salafist jihadist groups including the Islamic State, Al Nusra, and other groups.

  • October 23, 2014 Washington, DC
    Disrupting ISIL’s Money Trail

    With a broad international effort underway to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), David S. Cohen outlined the United States’ strategy to undermine the organization’s financial foundation.

  • July 1, 2014 Washington, DC
    The Future of Iraq

    The recent capture of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul by the jihadi extremist group ISIS has plunged the country into chaos.

  • May 21, 2014 Washington, DC
    The Local and Regional Dynamics of Arab Activism

    After the major uprisings of 2011 in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, many assumed that the movements emerged spontaneously directed by tech-savvy, young revolutionaries. However, citizen activism in the Arab world was already adapting to changing internal political and social dynamics in the preceding years.

  • Egypt
    March 25, 2014 Brussels
    The Battle for Pluralism in the Arab World

    Arab citizens long for freedom and opportunity. Only through the painstaking process of constructing an Arab world defined by pluralism and tolerance can this dream be realized.

  • March 19, 2014 Washington, DC
    Marwan Muasher in Conversation With Thomas L. Friedman

    Three years after the Arab world was rocked by the uprisings that brought down longstanding autocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, the region remains embroiled in a transformational struggle for the future.

  • February 26, 2014 Washington, DC
    Rached Ghannouchi on Tunisia’s Democratic Transition

    In a landmark step, Tunisia’s Islamic and secular political forces reached accord on a constitution that provides a foundation for Tunisia’s transition to democracy. But while progress has been made, the country still faces serious economic and political challenges ahead.

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