David Schenker is a senior fellow and director of the Arab politics program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Previously, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Levant country director, the Pentagon’s top policy aide on the Arab countries of the Levant. In that capacity, he was responsible for advising the secretary and other senior Pentagon leadership on the military and political affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. He was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2005.
Prior to joining the government, Mr. Schenker was a research fellow at The Washington Institute, focusing on Arab governance issues at a time of seminal leadership transition in the Middle East. Fluent in Arabic, he served as the Institute’s in-house expert on Arab politics. In addition, he authored two Institute books: Dancing with Saddam: The Strategic Tango of Jordanian-Iraqi Relations (copublished with Lexington Books, 2003) and Palestinian Democracy and Governance: An Appraisal of the Legislative Council (2001). His writings on Arab affairs have also appeared in a number of prominent scholarly journals and newspapers, including Middle East Quarterly, the Los Angeles Times, and the Jerusalem Post.
Education: M.A., University of Michigan; Certificate, Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA), American University in Cairo; B.A., University of Vermont.