Michele Dunne

Senior Associate
Middle East Program
Dunne is an expert on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as U.S. policy in the Middle East.


Ph.D., M.A., B.S., Georgetown University


Arabic; English


Michele Dunne is a senior associate in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as U.S. policy in the Middle East. She was the founding director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council from 2011 to 2013 and was a senior associate and editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2006 to 2011. 

Dunne was a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Department of State from 1986 to 2003, where she served in assignments that included the National Security Council, the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, the U.S. embassy in Cairo, the U.S. consulate general in Jerusalem, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She also served as a visiting professor of Arabic language and Arab studies at Georgetown from 2003 to 2006.  

  • Paper April 15, 2015 عربي Full Text
    Egypt’s Nationalists Dominate in a Politics-Free Zone

    Egypt’s political scene has changed radically from the vigorous pluralism that followed the 2011 uprising; in 2015 the Islamist and secular groups that won those elections are excluded or marginalized.

  • Op-Ed Washington Post April 3, 2015
    Obama Embraces the Nixon Doctrine in Egypt

    The idea that Sisi will be an effective ally against Islamic terrorists is misguided. He has, in fact, become one of the jihadists’ most effective recruiting tools.

  • Syria in Crisis March 11, 2015
    Egypt’s Economy: A Mixed Picture, at Best

    On the eve of Egypt’s much-hyped economic conference, the status of the Egyptian economy remains mixed in the context of deteriorating security conditions and a repressive political climate.

  • Syria in Crisis January 16, 2015
    Is Sisi Islam’s Martin Luther?

    Despite his call for a “religious revolution” in Islam, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s gestures fit into a pattern of instrumentalizing religion for political purposes. Religious freedom under Sisi’s presidency may not be worse than it was under Mubarak or Morsi, but it is certainly no better.

  • 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.

  • Op-Ed Washington Post December 21, 2014
    Egypt Is Open For Business, But Not For Reform

    The question is whether Egypt can stabilize the country and attract foreign investment needed to enliven the economy, while repressing all criticism of government policies from inside or outside and abandoning any semblance of the rule of law.

  • Syria in Crisis December 2, 2014
    Arab Human Rights Organizations Fear for Their Future in a Volatile Region

    The roller coaster on which Arab countries have ridden since the 2011 uprisings has given a particularly rough ride to indigenous human rights organizations. Embattled since their founding in the 1980s and 1990s, and often accused of carrying out foreign agendas, groups in several countries are now fighting for their very existence.

  • Op-Ed Al Jazeera November 4, 2014
    Egypt’s Sisi and the Insurgency

    The question is whether the scorched earth methods practiced by Sisi and his government are helping to build legitimacy among the Egyptian population, or if they will fuel radicalization and alienate large swaths of the public.

  • Op-Ed Wall Street Journal November 4, 2014
    Three Risks of U.S. Cooperation With Arab Allies Against Islamic State

    Washington needs to collaborate with its Arab allies to address the imminent threat from Islamic State. But it needs to do so while actively discouraging repression and pressing for policies in Arab states that meet the demands of the young generation that started the Arab Spring.

  • Policy Outlook October 23, 2014 عربي
    U.S.-Arab Counterterrorism Cooperation in a Region Ripe for Extremism

    Many Arab governments are fueling the very extremism they purport to fight and looking for U.S. cover. Washington should play the long game.

  • December 8, 2014 Washington, DC
    The Crisis in Jerusalem

    Violent attacks and counter attacks in Jerusalem have escalated as access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount has changed, raising the profile of the religious aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alongside its nationalist and territorial dimensions.

  • 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

  • September 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    Libya’s Civil War

    Nearly three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in the throes of a bitter civil war. Its political and security institutions are split along complex fault lines that defy easy categorization.

  • May 30, 2014 Washington, DC
    Al-Qaeda Transformed: The Core, Its Affiliates, and Their Splinters

    This conference brought together leading scholars and practitioners from the United States, Europe, and the Arab world to examine the complex dynamics underway within al-Qaeda.

  • January 21, 2014
    The Struggle for Social Justice and Citizen Rights

    The status of human rights and civil society across the broader Middle East has been shifting since the Arab uprisings began three years ago.

  • May 24, 2011
    Arab Spring: Is America Getting it Right?

    The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a televised debate on U.S. strategy on the Middle East with BBC World.

  • May 18, 2011 Washington, D.C.
    Egypt's Transition and the Challenge of Security Sector Reform

    After the dismantling of the Mubarak regime’s State Security Investigations apparatus, questions remain about how the new National Security sector will differ from its predecessor and what security sector reforms will be implemented.

  • May 9, 2011 Washington, D.C.
    The Economic and Political Outlook for the Middle East in Turmoil

    The Middle East and North Africa have seen more change in the last three months than in the previous fifty years and the current turmoil will have far-reaching and, in the short-run, adverse economic implications both within the region and beyond.

  • February 16, 2011 Washington, D.C. عربي
    After Mubarak

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down, handing authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. What can be expected from the country’s new military rulers and what does this signal for the rest of the Arab world?

  • February 3, 2011 Washington, D.C. عربي
    Egypt on the Brink

    As protests in Egypt escalate into a full-fledged uprising that threatens to unravel Egypt's existing political order, President Mubarak's announcement that he will not run for president again in September does not seem to be enough to appease the protesters and end the protests.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=236
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