Emile Nakhleh

Emile Nakhleh

Research Professor, Political Science


Areas of Expertise


  • Dr. Emile Nakhleh is a research professor and director of National Security Programs at UNM.
  • Nakhleh is a retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer, a National Intelligence Council Associate and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Since retiring from the US Government, Nakhleh has been consulting with different US government entities on national security issues, particularly Islamic radicalization, terrorism, and the Arab states of the Middle East. He has published frequently on the “Arab Spring” in the Financial Times and on LobeLog.
  • At the CIA, Nakhleh was a senior analyst and director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program and of regional analysis in the Middle East. He was awarded several senior commendations and distinguished medals for his service, including the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the Director’s Medal.
  • Nakhleh's research and publications have focused on political Islam and Muslim world engagement, Islamic radicalization and terrorism in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world; state formation in the Middle East; and US policy toward the Middle East and the Muslim world. Dr. Nakhleh has lectured in this country and overseas for many years.
  • He was the first American Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
  • Nakhleh holds a Ph.D. from the American University, Washington, D.C., in International Relations, an M.A. from Georgetown University in Political Science, and a B.A. from Saint John’s University, Minnesota, in Political Science.

Additional areas of interest
Nakhleh is the author of numerous academic books and scholarly articles including A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America’s Relations with the Muslim World (Princeton University Press, 2009); Bahrain: Political Development in a Modernizing Society (Lexington Books, 2011; originally published in 1976 and translated into Arabic in 2006); “Intelligence Sharing and Co-operation: Opportunities and Pitfalls,” in Steve Tsang, ed., Combating Transnational Terrorism: Searching for a New Paradigm (Praeger, 2009); “Propaganda and Power in the Middle East,” Current History (December 2013). Previous publications include: The Gulf Cooperation Council: Policies, Problems, and Prospects (Praeger, 1986); The Persian Gulf and American Policy (Praeger, 1982); Arab-American Relations in the Persian Gulf (Washington, DC, 1975); and The West Bank and Gaza: Toward the Making of a Palestinian State (Washington, DC, 1979).

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