Robert A. Fox Fellows – 6 Months of Excellence

  • February 2, 2016

Robert A. Fox Fellows – 6 Months of Excellence

  • February 2, 2016

In 2015, FPRI’s Middle East program named four year-long Robert A. Fox Fellows, who would write, speak, and create innovative platforms for addressing a wide range of timely issues related to the Middle East and U.S. policy. Here are some of the highlights from the past 6 months.

FPRI Fox Fellow Clint Watts, who focuses on ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and their recruitment strategies, was the most often cited and quoted scholar this year, totaling +45 citations in 2015. What’s more, his writings on behalf of FPRI were also routinely featured by third party news aggregates, such as Foreign Policy Magazine’s daily news brief on the region. Clint was featured in the following venues just since his appointment in July!

+20 Interviews:

FPRI's Clintt Watts on C-SPANAssociated Press (Radio), CNN (TV), CNBC (TV), CSPAN (TV) ABC World News Tonight (TV), Fox News (Online), Al-Jazeera EnglishBoston Herald (Radio), BBC World News (TV), TheWashington Post (Online/Print), NPR All things Considered (Radio), Philadelphia Inquirer  Online/Print), Loopcast (Podcast), Vox (Online), The Daily Beast (Online), The Atlantic (Online), PBS Frontline (TV), and The Washington Times (Online).

+10 External Articles        10 Speaking Engagements        +5 FPRI Publications

FPRI Fox Fellow Adam Garfinkle – founding editor of The American Interest magazine, former principal speechwriter to the Secretary of State (2003-05), and author of numerous books – uses his experience and caché to cover the big stories for FPRI as they break, while staying true to the FPRI brand of geopolitical analysis steeped in history, culture, and geography. Since his appointment as Fox Fellow, Adam has tackled:

Iran - The Big Sell Putin Orbama and the Middle East After Paris - Back to Basics

The Iran Nuclear Deal       The Russo-American Face-off in Syria    The Paris Attacks

Aside from producing erudite pieces within hours of each story breaking for publication, Garfinkle’s article have all been among the top 20 articles read on FPRI’s entire website during the month in which they were published. His October E-Note for example, entitled Putin, Obama, and the Middle East, was the 2nd most read article on FPRI’s website that month. What’s more, this article has been read over 1600 times on FPRI’s website alone since its publication – not to mention reads on second party sites that republished it.

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FPRI Fox Fellow Samuel Helfont, who combines his Princeton University doctoral education and cutting-edge archival research into Saddam Hussein’s instrumentalization of religion in Baathist Iraq with his background as a Naval Intelligence Officer and Iraq War Veteran, has written a series of primers for FPRI on Islam, Islamism, and Sectarianism which have been some of the most highly read and relevant work of FPRI to date (e.g. 2009’s The Sunni Divide: Understanding Politics and Terrorism in the Arab Middle East – +14,000 reads, and 2013’s The Geopolitics of the Sunni-Shi‘i Divide in the Middle East – +4000 reads). His August Footnote, Islam and Islamism: A Primer for Teachers and Students, builds on that momentum – not only being the 3nd most read article on FPRI’s website that month, but also read almost 1,000 times to date.

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FPRI Junior Fox Fellow Tamar Friedman – a promising former FPRI intern and graduate of the UPenn – produced an educational resource in the form of an interactive infographic on Understanding Electoral Systems in the Middle East and Beyond. The “Electoral Systems” project has a two-pronged purpose: to give a general overview of electoral processes, and to provide country specific examples in the Middle East (e.g. Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey) demonstrating the application of these discrete electoral systems. Through this interactive infographic, students are able explore the characteristics of various electoral systems, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and a simulated “ballot box” to understand how each would function in a hypothetical election.