This event has been canceled.


The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Director's Lunch with Steven Simon, Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa, National Security Staff, the White House, in the Belfer Center Library (L369).

From the Arab Spring uprisings across Northern Africa, to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, to Syria and Iran, Steven Simon is the policy point man on some of the most volatile issues crossing the desk of President Obama. His career has focused on international threats and combatting terrorism for the past two decades.

Prior to reentering government service, Mr. Simon was a principal and senior advisor at Good Harbor Consulting, LLC in Abu Dhabi and adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His work in the private sector was preceded by service as Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the CFR and visiting professor in public policy at Princeton University. Before joining CFR, Mr. Simon specialized in Middle Eastern affairs at the RAND Corporation. He came to RAND from London, where he was the deputy director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Carol Deane senior fellow in U.S. security studies. His duties at IISS followed five years at the White House as director for global issues and senior director for transnational threats on the National Security Council staff. During this period, he was involved in U.S. counterterrorism policy and operations as well as security policy in the Near East and South Asia. These assignments followed a fifteen-year career at the U.S. Department of State.

Mr. Simon is the coauthor of several books including The Age of Sacred Terror (Random House, 2002), which won the 2004 Arthur Ross Book Award for best book on international relations. He also coauthored The Next Attack (Henry Holt, 2005), which examines the evolution of the jihad since September 11, 2001 and America's response and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize in 2006. His latest book, co-authored with Dana Allin, is The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America and the Rumors of War (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Mr. Simon has published in leading periodicals such as TIME, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and, the Wall Street Journal. He is a frequent guest on CNN, BBC, ABC, 60 Minutes, Nightline, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Fox, and NPR.

Mr. Simon has a B.A. from Columbia University in classics and Near Eastern languages, an M.T.S. from the Harvard Divinity School, and an M.P.A. from Princeton University. He was a university fellow at Brown University, international affairs fellow at Oxford University, and Bosch Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.


As space is limited for this event, RSVPs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Belfer Center Seminars are strictly off-the-record. By requesting to attend the seminar, you agree that you will comply with the Belfer Center's strict policy against recording or disclosing the contents of the lunch. Your access is conditioned on your compliance with these restrictions. Should you violate these rules, the Center will pursue all available legal options and you will be excluded from all future events.