Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme
Sanam Vakil

Contact information


Sanam Vakil is a professorial lecturer in the Middle East Studies department at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS Europe) in Bologna, Italy. 

Prior to this, Dr Vakil was an assistant professor of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington DC. 

Dr Vakil has provided commentary, research and political risk analysis for Oxford Analytica, Rastah Ideologistics, Gerson Lehman Group, International Republican Institute, Management Systems International, The World Bank Group, PFC Energy and Dunia Economic Research.

She has also published commentary for a variety of academic and news outlets and has been consulted by high-ranking government officials in the US, UK and Europe. 

She received her BA in Political Science and History from Columbia University and earned her MA and PhD in International Relations with a specialization in Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS.  

Areas of expertise

  • Iranian domestic and foreign policy
  • GCC politics
  • US foreign policy to the Middle East
  • Leadership and governance in the Middle East
  • Civil society development, gender

Past experience

2008 - presentProfessorial lecturer, Johns Hopkins University - SAIS Europe
2011-13Senior Research Associate, Management Systems International
2005-07Assistant Professor, Middle East Studies, Johns Hopkins University – SAIS Washington

Research assistant, Iran Project, Council on Foreign Relations