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Nawaf Obaid Named Visiting Fellow with Belfer Center’s Intelligence and Defense Projects

| Apr. 12, 2017

The Intelligence and Defense Projects at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center has named Nawaf Obaid as its first Visiting Fellow. 

“Nawaf has been a longtime collaborator with the Intelligence and Defense Projects, but this relationship will deepen as he participates in the Center’s newest initiative, the Saudi and GCC Security Project,” said Defense and Intelligence Projects Director BG Kevin Ryan (US Army retired). 

Obaid, Ryan said, brings depth of experience and insight to the project’s examination of defense, security, and intelligence issues relevant to Saudi Arabia and the GCC states: Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.

A graduate of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, Obaid has a MPP (Masters in Public Policy) degree from the Kennedy School and a Master’s degree and Doctorate in War Studies from the Department of War Studies at King's College, London University.  

For the past five years, Obaid had been a Visiting Fellow at the Belfer Center. He was previously a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1998 to 2000), the Center for Strategic & International Studies (2004 to 2007), and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (2008 to 2016).

From 2004 to 2007, Obaid was Special Advisor for Strategic Communications to Prince Turki Al Faisal while Prince Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland and then the United States.  From 2007 to 2011, he worked with the Saudi Royal Court, where he was also seconded as a Special Advisor to the Saudi Information Minister. From 2011 to 2015 he served as the Special Counselor to the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom.  He is currently CEO of the Essam and Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF). 

The Belfer Center launched the Intelligence and Defense Projects in 2013 to increase the Center’s capacity to advance policy relevant knowledge in defense and intelligence areas and to help prepare future leaders in those fields. The initiative links defense and intelligence agencies with Belfer researchers, faculty, and Kennedy School students, to facilitate better policy-making in the field and enrich the education of fellows and students about defense and intelligence. The Project on Saudi and GCC Security is a new initiative aimed at exploring ideas and recommendations for the United States and allies and partners in the Saudi/GCC region to address critical Middle East security issues.

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For Academic Citation:Nawaf Obaid Named Visiting Fellow with Belfer Center’s Intelligence and Defense Projects.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, April 12, 2017.