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July 1, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.The Center for Security Policy (Center, centerforsecuritypolicy.org) today announced the formation of its new Middle East and North Africa program, which will be led by former Deputy National Security Advisor for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs Victoria Coates.

“As America confronts China and COVID, we also have to maintain our commitment to our friends and partners in the Middle East,” said Fred Fleitz, President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. “Victoria and her team will ensure the important groundwork laid by the Abraham Accords is supported and America’s commitment to Israel and fighting global anti-Semitism is maintained.”

Joining Victoria as part of the program is new Center Senior Fellow Ellie Cohanim. Ellie is the host of a weekly newsmagazine show, “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim,” and was the U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the State Department. She was the State Department’s first Iranian-born envoy and led diplomatic initiatives that resulted in the formation of groundbreaking partnerships in the Arab world to combat anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and Islamophobia.

Center Senior Fellow Caroline Glick, who is based in Israel, will join her ongoing analysis and research efforts with the MENA team. Center Senior Analyst David Wurmser will continue to direct the Center’s Project on Global anti-Semitism as part of the MENA effort. Center Senior Analyst Maya Carlin will work as an analyst for the new Center MENA team as well.

“The Middle East and North Africa region is the vital fulcrum between east and west, and is home to not only some of the most sensitive transportation lanes on the planet, but also to much of the world’s energy reserves,” Coates said. “As our historic Arab partners begin to join together with our greatest MENA ally, Israel, there are enormous opportunities to advance American interests across the economic and security sectors. The Center’s new MENA initiative will be focusing on how to leverage the U.S. presence in the region to the benefit of all. I’m delighted to partner with Fred, Ellie, and the CSP community to carry on this important work.”

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program will both coordinate the Center’s established lines of regional study, including Iran, the U.S.-Israel alliance, and combatting global anti-Semitism, and explore new focus areas such as integrating American security and economic strategic interests in MENA to include Israel in the wake of the historic Abraham Accords as well as the role of the U.S. in regional energy cooperation. MENA will also partner closely with the Center’s Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism program to monitor Islamic extremists in the region and beyond.

Since the Center for Security Policy’s founding in 1988, they have challenged establishment orthodoxy and refused to sacrifice principles for expedience in Washington. The Center’s work is rooted in the proven strategy of Peace Through Strength as applied to the needed 21st Century strategy of America First. Security and freedom depend on a strong America and leaders who will use instruments of national power wisely to keep our nation out of unnecessary wars.   

The Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) organization that educates policymakers, legislators, the media, and the American public. We are funded by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. For more information, visit the Center website at centerforsecuritypolicy.org.   


To interview representatives of the Center for Security Policy, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.