Sanam Vakil is James Anderson Adjunct Professor at SAIS Europe
Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Sanam Vakil is the James Anderson Adjunct Professor at The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe. In 2023 Sanam was appointed Director of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. Previously she was the deputy director and a senior research fellow in the programme. Sanam leads the Iran Forum project focusing on future trends in Iran's domestic and foreign policy and follows GCC and Gulf Arab dynamics alongside wider regional security issues in the Middle East. Sanam has been a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University associated with the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.
Before these appointments, from 2003-2005, Sanam was an assistant professor of Middle East Studies at SAIS Washington. She served as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations also providing research analysis to the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa department. Sanam provides research, commentary and political risk analysis for companies and organizations working in the Middle East. She has been consulted by high ranking government officials in the United States and Europe. Vakil holds a PhD in international relations from SAIS. Professor Vakil is the author of numerous monographs, book reviews, working papers and articles in U.S. and international journals on Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.