Michael Stephens is the Research Fellow for Middle East and Head of Royal United Service Institute (RUSI) in Qatar. A RUSI’s London office partner since 2010 he worked for the Nuclear Security Program and followed International Security Studies.
A specialist in Gulf security and Middle East Affairs, his research has focused on Iraqi Kurdistan and Kurdish regions of Syria, their social composition and responses to the threat from the Islamic State; the Arab Shia identity across the Middle East and its relationship with Iran, which included co-authoring a Whitehall report focusing on regional responses to Iran’s nuclear program (2014).
He is a regular advisor of the Crown Prosecution Service on issues relating to national security and counter terrorism, a frequent (broadcast) commentator on Middle East Affairs, while he has also served as a Senior Research Analyst for Syria and Lebanon at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London (2017).
He studied at King’s College London with postgraduate research focus on the Middle East. He is proficient in both Arabic and Hebrew.