Jon Alterman is director and senior fellow of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. He served as an expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group (also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission) and is a professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Before entering government, he was a scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. From 1993 to 1997, Alterman was an award-winning teacher at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in history. He also worked as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel P. Moynihan (D-NY), responsible for foreign policy and defense.
Alterman has lectured in more than 20 countries on subjects related to the Middle East and U.S. policy toward the region. He is the author or coauthor of three books on the Middle East and the editor of a fourth. In addition to his academic work, he is a frequent commentator in print, on radio, and on television. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Asharq al-Awsat, and other major publications. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Middle East Journal and Transnational Broadcasting Studies and is a former International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.