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 Staff, 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.  

  • Policy Outlook October 23, 2014
    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.

  • Syria in Crisis October 22, 2014
    Egypt’s Student Protests: The Beginning or the End of Youth Dissent?

    As the Egyptian government’s crackdown on dissent broadened over the last year, university campuses have increasingly been in the crosshairs as one of the last remaining spaces for dissent.

  • Syria in Crisis September 22, 2014
    What Egypt Can and Cannot Do Against the Islamic State

    In the struggle against the Islamic State, Egypt needs sound political and economic policies that will quench the spread of violence and extremism within the country itself.

  • Article August 20, 2014 عربي
    Egypt, Counterterrorism, and the Politics of Alienation

    The Sisi government’s policies of repression and exclusion are alienating Egypt’s restive population and threatening to push Egyptians into the arms of extremist groups.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Policy August 18, 2014
    How Egypt Prolonged the Gaza War

    As negotiations on a lasting cease-fire in Gaza grind on in Cairo, it’s not only the animosity between Israel and Hamas that is complicating the talks—it’s also Egypt’s role as mediator.

  • 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.

  • Article June 10, 2014 عربي
    The Costs of U.S. Restraint in Syria

    Washington’s reluctance to take a leadership role in Syria has played a part in increasing the threat to core U.S. interests.

  • Policy Outlook June 5, 2014 عربي
    A U.S. Strategy Toward Egypt Under Sisi

    Egypt is at a perilous juncture in a decades-long journey of change. Washington should focus on supporting the Egyptian people more than whoever is currently in power.

  • Other Publications Arab Reform Initiative May 22, 2014
    U.S. Policy Struggles with an Egypt in Turmoil

    Since the removal of the Mubarak regime in 2011, the United States has struggled to develop a coherent policy of engagement that can protect American interests while winning trust among Egyptians and their leaders.

  • Other Publications Weekly Wonk April 10, 2014
    Aid to Egypt: Black Hole or Black Gold?

    Continued repression threatens to lead Egypt into a dark tunnel of insurgency and instability. The United States must implement aid policies that make accountability to one’s citizens a key condition to receive U.S. aid.

  • October 10, 2014 Washington, DC
    ISIS and the Middle East’s Shifting Geopolitical Landscape

    our panels of regional experts and practitioners will consider the political, security, and sectarian dynamics fueling the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the inherent contradictions within the U.S.-led coalition, the impact of Iran on recent developments, and the challenges facing U.S. policymakers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • January 31, 2011 Washington, D.C. عربي Français
    From Tunisia to Egypt: Protests in the Arab World

    Protests in Tunisia that pushed President Ben Ali to flee the country have sparked mass protests in the region, spreading to Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. The protests in Egypt are growing and unlike anything seen in decades. Will Tunisia remain an isolated case or the beginning of a wave of change?

  • November 18, 2010 Washington, D.C.
    Egypt's Political Future: The Parliamentary Elections and Beyond

    As voters prepare to head to the polls for parliamentary elections on November 28, the Egyptian government has tightened restrictions on independent media and civil society and has already disqualified one-quarter of the Muslim Brotherhood's candidates.

  • October 19, 2010 Washington, D.C. عربي
    Egypt’s Upcoming Elections: Boycotts, Campaigns, and Monitors

    As Egypt moves toward parliamentary elections on November 28, political parties are debating whether to participate in the process or to boycott, while the ruling party struggles to manage competition within its own ranks and opposition groups face restrictions on their ability to campaign.

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