Frederic Wehrey

Senior Associate
Middle East Program
Wehrey’s research focuses on security affairs, civil-military relations, and identity politics in North Africa and the Gulf.


PhD, International Relations, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford
MA, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University


Arabic; English


Frederic Wehrey is a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He focuses on security affairs, civil-military relations, and identity politics in North Africa and the Gulf. His most recent Carnegie publications include U.S.-Arab Counterterrorism Cooperation in a Region Ripe for Extremism with Michele Dunne (2014), Ending Libya’s Civil War: Reconciling Politics, Rebuilding Security (2014), and A New U.S. Approach to Gulf Security (2014).

His commentary and articles appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, Washington Quarterly, Current History, Survival, Sada, the Journal of Democracy, Small Wars and Insurgencies, the Christian Science Monitor, Financial Times, and the Chicago Journal of International Law. He has been interviewed by major media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, PBS NewsHour, NPR, BBC, and CNN. He routinely briefs U.S. and European government officials on Middle East affairs and has testified before the Senate and the House of Representatives.

He is the author of a book exploring Sunni-Shi’a relations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, entitled Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings (Columbia University Press, 2013), which was named one of 2014’s Top Three Books on the Middle East by Foreign Affairs magazine.

Prior to joining Carnegie, he was a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Wehrey is also a twenty-year veteran of the active and reserve components of the U.S. Air Force, with tours across North Africa and the Middle East, including Iraq, where he earned the Bronze Star in 2003.

He holds a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University and a Master’s in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He studied Arabic at Cairo University, the University of Jordan, and the Yemen Language Center in Sana’a.

  • Columbia University Press December 17, 2013
    Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings

    Although religious differences and regional influences play a role, the rise of sectarianism in the Gulf is ultimately rooted in longstanding problems of governance and elite manipulation of Sunni-Shia identities.

  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace April 17, 2013
    Perilous Desert: Insecurity in the Sahara

    The Sahara suffers from a perfect storm of weaknesses. Foreign assistance that relies exclusively on counterterrorism will only exacerbate the problems.

  • June 24, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Fragile Sahel: Transnational Threats and Sustainable Solutions

    Long neglected by outside powers, the Sahel region stands at the strategic nexus of a number of growing challenges facing the African continent, Europe, and the wider Middle East.

  • April 21, 2015 Washington, DC
    Building Peace in Libya: A Conversation with Wafa Bugaighis

    As the conflict between Libya’s political factions drags on, its humanitarian and economic crisis deepens. Meanwhile, the Islamic State is exploiting the vacuum wrought by the fighting and the absence of coherent, capable institutions.

  • April 13, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Regional Implications of the Deal

    It remains to be seen whether the Iran nuclear deal will encourage Tehran to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East, with potentially significant regional consequences.

  • April 13, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Iran Nuclear Deal

    What are the short and long-term obstacles to finalizing and sustaining a nuclear deal with Iran, and how would a U.S.-Iran nuclear détente impact ongoing conflicts and long-standing alliances in the Middle East?

  • March 12, 2015 Washington, DC
    Libya’s Revolution and Its Aftermath

    More than three years after the fall of former leader Muammar Qaddafi, Libya is wracked by worsening civil war, foreign intervention, and the rise of transnational terrorism groups like the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

  • March 3, 2015 Washington, DC
    Future Trends in the Gulf

    Amid a region beset by civil wars and terrorism, the Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council are facing growing challenges from an increasingly youthful population, aging rulers, economic pressures, and a new information environment.

  • January 29, 2015 Beirut عربي
    Transitions and Security in North Africa: External and Internal Factors

    Four years after efforts to topple authoritarian regimes in North Africa, the road to democratic governance is still incomplete.

  • November 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    Jihadist Movements in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq: Inevitable Rise or Policy Failure?

    How has U.S. policy failed to anticipate current developments of jihadist movements from Afghanistan to Syria?

  • November 3, 2014 Washington, DC
    From Hizbullah to the Islamic State

    From humble beginnings in the 1980s, Hizbullah’s political clout and public perception have trended upward, thanks to a communications strategy that has adapted to changes in the local and regional environment.

  • October 29, 2014 Washington, DC
    The Iran Factor and Regional Calculations

    This panel assessed Iranian interests and influence in the region in the context of the fight against the Islamic State and the continuing Syrian civil war.

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