Christopher Boucek

Former  Associate
Middle East Program
Boucek was an associate in the Carnegie Middle East Program where his research focused on security challenges in the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa.

Ph.D. and M.A., School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; B.A., Drew University 

November 4, 2011

Dear Friend,

I write to share the sad and shocking news that our colleague and friend Chris Boucek died of a heart attack on November 2 at home.

Chris joined the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East program near the outset of his career. He not only met but far exceeded our expectations. As those of you who know his work appreciate, he made a big impact in many communities in the Middle East and in the US.  In a very short time, he built up a unique body of expertise on Islamic extremism in the Arabian Peninsula and the Sahel. He had recently returned from Yemen, full of thoughtful analysis on where the region was heading. From academia to the military, his insights and advice were in wide demand.  He was also a sparklingly nice human being, of quiet warmth and humor who leaves a very big hole behind. We will miss him deeply: he was an admired colleague and a great friend.

We invite you to contribute your thoughts and memories of Chris to a book we are preparing for his family. If you would like to contribute a comment, please click on the image above. Your note will be included in the book.

A memorial education fund for Chris's young daughters has been established, and gifts can be sent to:

College of America
c/o Raymond James & Associates, Inc.,
Attention: M.S. McCormick
550 West Washington Street, Suite 1050
Chicago, Illinois

In Sadness,
Jessica Mathews


Christopher Boucek was an associate in the Carnegie Middle East Program where his research focused on security challenges in the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa. He was a leading authority on disengagement and rehabilitation programs for Islamist militants and extremists and a recognized expert on terrorism, security, and stability issues in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

He frequently briefed U.S. and European governments and government agencies on terrorism, Islamist militancy, and security issues in the Arabian Peninsula, and regularly provided expert analysis for domestic and international media.  

His research projects included clerical politics in Saudi Arabia and the confluence of challenges to Yemeni stability.  He provided expert testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.  

Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and lecturer in Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School. He was also previously a media analyst at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., and worked for several years at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London. From 2003 to 2005, he was a security editor with Jane’s Information Group.

Boucek had written widely on the Middle East,  terrorism, and counter-radicalization for a variety of publications including the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Independent, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, Atlantic Monthly, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Journal of Libyan Studies, Strategic Insights, and Terrorism Monitor.

Please note...

You are leaving the website for the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and entering a website for another of Carnegie's global centers.