Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme & Second Century Initiative
Claire Spencer
Contact information
+44 (0)20 7957 5714


Dr Claire Spencer is senior research fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Programme and Second Century Initiative at Chatham House.

Over the previous decade, she was head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, which she expanded, having set up the Middle East and Central Asia Policy Unit at the development agency Christian Aid from 2003-05.

She previously served as deputy director and head of the Mediterranean Security Programme which she established at the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, University of London from 1995-2001.

She is currently a steering committee member of the EuroMeSCo network of ‘Euro-Med’ think tanks, and a core group member of the EU-Southern Neighbourhood Civil Society Dialogue initiative.

She received her BSc in Politics from Bristol University and PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


  • Middle East
  • North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia)
  • European Union relations with the Mediterranean and Middle East
  • Mediterranean Security


  • BSc. (Hons) Politics, Bristol University
  • Ph. D School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London
  • School Diploma in Arabic (SOAS)
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts

Broadcast experience

Commentary for television and radio including BBC, ITN, Channel 4, CNN, ABC, NPR, CBC, Al Jazeera.


  • French, Spanish (fluent) Italian, Portuguese, German, Arabic (comprehension)