The Project on Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council Security focuses on national and regional security issues in the Gulf.  Made possible through a gift from HRH Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Project uses research, reports, events, and a speaker series to explore and present ideas and recommendations for the United States and allies/partners in the Saudi/GCC region so they can work more effectively together to maintain security and stability.

The project gathers insights and understanding from current and former national security practitioners from the United States and from the region such as ambassadors from the Gulf States and Gulf State military experts.

The Project on Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council Security is made possible through a gift from HRH Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. 

The application period for Spring 2018 is now closed. Selections will be made and announced by COB on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018. Please contact Caitlin_Chase@hks.harvard.edu with any questions.

Call for Student Research

The Saudi & GCC Security Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is putting out a call for students researchers interested in topics surrounding how policy, intelligence, and security issues impact on the Gulf region. Specific examples of research topics we are interested in sponsoring include but are not limited to:

  • Trends in extremism and terrorism
  • Saudi Vision 2030 and the transition in Saudi Arabia
  • How internal relations amongst the GCC impact on regional security
  • Broader Middle Eastern security issues such as Iranian activity in the region, the Yemen crisis, Syrian conflict, etc.

We will review proposals from both student research proposals and fellows with existing research who are interested in being associated with the Saudi & GCC Security Project. The research will be conducted under the advisement of expert “mentors” from the HKS community, including the Director of the Saudi & GCC Security Project and Intelligence Project at the Belfer Center, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen. Finished products will not receive a grade or academic credits, and Saudi & GCC Security Project will publish worthy products and present research through the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs upon completion. Students who participate in the April 2018 delegation to Saudi Arabia will have the opportunity to present their research to a group of international scholars at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Applicants should be graduate-level students from the Harvard community (HKS, GSAS, etc.) with an interest in the topics referenced above. PhD students and research fellows are encouraged to reach out if they are interested in mentoring or having their existing research be associated with and published by the Saudi & GCC Security Project. We welcome applicants from all disciplines.

If interested, please send a CV/resume and a short proposal outlining your research interests and background to Caitlin_chase@hks.harvard.edu.


Bottom Lines

  • WHO: Harvard graduate students and fellows with interested in or currently researching terrorism and Middle East (especially GCC) security issues.

  • WHAT: Harvard delegation to the King Faisal Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia sponsored by the Saudi & GCC Security Project. Participants will present their research, attend lectures and participate in focus group, interact with local students and families, visit and enjoy the culture of various cities in Saudi Arabia.
  • WHERE: Riyadh, Al Ula, Jeddah, and Dammam
  • WHEN: April 8-17*, 2018.
  • WHY: (1) Present and promote the research being done at Harvard (2) To facilitate dialogue and promote cultural exchange amongst students and experts researching Gulf security and terrorism issues (3) To strengthen and grow the relationship between Harvard and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies

  • HOW: Email a CV/resume and interest statement to Caitlin_chase@hks.harvard.edu

Student Delegation to Saudi Arabia

The Saudi & GCC Security Project is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new educational program that is offering a small delegation of Harvard students and fellows the chance to experience the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and witness firsthand the huge changes that are happening today, in this ever-evolving global powerhouse.

The Saudi & GCC Security Project at Harvard Kennedy School is partnering with Gateway KSA, a company that specializes in organizing educational trips to Saudi Arabia, to offer Harvard graduate students and fellows a university-sponsored trip to the Kingdom, from April 8-17*, 2018.

The trip offers students a multifaceted approach to learning, driven by authentic, real-world expereinces, and will include the opportunity to present and discuss research being done at Harvard, and participate in lectures and focus groups at the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies.

During this nine-day trip, students will visit the King Faisal Centere for Research and Islamic Studies and see the sights of Riyadh, Al Ula, Jeddah, and Dammam. There will also be multiple opportunities for interaction and cultural exchange with local students and families. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, the Director of the Intelligence Project and Saudi & GCC Security Project at Harvard Kennedy School, will lead the trip.

The application period for the Spring 2018 trip has now ended. Please reach out to Caitlin_chase@hks.harvard.edu with any questions.

For further information on the Gateway KSA program, please visit their website at: www.gatewayksa.com

Sample Itinerary:

  • Fly into Riyadh and stay for two nights. Includes a tour of the King Abdul Aziz Palace, Masmak Fortress, and King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies. While at the King Faisal Centre, students and fellows will present their research, engage with researchers at the center, participate in focus groups and attend lectures.
  • Two nights in the desert of Al Ula visiting Madain Saleh and with exclusive access to UNESCO World heritage archaeological sites currently closed to the public and tourism.
  • Two nights in Jeddah enjoying the Red Sea, a diving and snorkeling trip, and a visit to KAUST University
  • Potential visit to Saudi Aramco in Dammam
  • Back to Riyadh for a full de-brief at the King Faisal Centre before departing home