||The examples and perspective in this article may not include all significant viewpoints. (October 2011)|
Walid Phares, PhD (Arabic: وليد فارس IPA: [waˈliːd ˈfaːres]) is a distinguished Middle East scholar who is highly sought after by academia and governments for his expertise and understanding of the global jihadi threat, international terrorism, and jihadist movements around the world. Phares' knowledge of the plight of persecuted minorities in the Middle East and other regions of the world is unsurpassed. He is a professor of Global Strategies, Middle East Studies, and Ethnic and Religious Conflicts, subjects he has taught at several colleges and universities in the US and abroad. His research remains focused on International Relations, the evolution of jihadist movements around the world, religiously-motivated and sanctioned abuse of women and ethnic minorities in the Arab World, and pro-democratic reform movements in the Greater Middle East.
Dr. Phares is a regular contributor at Congressional hearings, at the US State Department, the Justice Department, the Department of Defense, and the US Department of Homeland Security. He is often called to testify before the European Parliament and UN Security Council. In 2007 he joined FOX News as the network's counterterrorism and Middle East expert. Before joining FOX, he provided expert commentary on terrorism at NBC from 2003 to 2006. He is an Expert Analyst for Wikistrat.
Dr. Walid Phares was born in Beirut, Lebanon where he grew up on December 24, 1957. He launched is academic career in Lebanon at the Lebanese University and Saint Joseph University. After graduating with degrees in Law, Political Science, and Sociology, he remained in Beirut practicing law. He later obtained his Master's degree in International Law from the Université de Lyon in France. After emigrating to the United States in 1990, Phares pursued academic studies at the University of Miami, eventually graduating with a PhD in International Relations and Strategic Studies.
Phares taught at the Department of International Relations at Florida International University (FIU) in 1992 and was hired as a visiting professor of Comparative Politics at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Palm Beach County in 1993-1994. In 1995 he was hired full time at the Department of Political Science at FAU as a Professor of Middle East Studies and International Relations. He launched several student clubs including the Haiti Watch, Human Rights Organization, the Latin American Student Association, and the Society for the Study of the Middle East. In 1995 he launched the second largest community organization of Middle East Studies in the US, the Florida Society for Middle East Studies FMES.
In 2003 he was hired by MSNBC to serve as a an NBC resident expert on Terrorism and moved to Washington DC in August 2004 where he served as a Senior Fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) until 2010. Phares served also as a Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels until 2010. In 2006 Dr Phares was appointed as an advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus of the US House of Representatives. In 2007, Dr Phares was hired by Fox News as a Middle East and Terrorism Expert. In 2008 he became a Co-Secretary General for the Trans-Atlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Jihadi-Terrorism.
Over thirty years, Dr Phares published 13 books in English, Arabic, French, some translated to Spanish and Russian. He authored hundreds of journal articles and Op Eds. (See book and publications section). In 2006 Dr Phares testified for the first time to the US Senate and since he was asked to brief and testify to the US Congress and the European Parliament.
Over the past decades, Dr Phares appeared in international and national media including on CNN, BBC, France 24, Russia Today, C-Span, NPR International, Pakistan Dawn TV, CBC Canada, CTV Canada, al Jazeera, al Arabiya, al Hurra, MTV, LBCI, ONTV Egypt, Nile TV, Algeria TV, Morocco TV, and dozens of media across Europe, the Arab World, and Latin America.
In September 2011, Dr Walid Phares was appointed as a Senior Advisor on Foreign Policy and National Security to Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney until November 2012. Dr Phares serves as an advisor to a number of Mideast American NGOs and is often asked by Defense and National Security institutions for briefings and seminars, including CENTCOM, SOCOM, AFRICOM, NDI, NTCC and others.
Phares' academic expertise encompasses Middle East Politics, Political History, Ethnic and Religious Conflict, and International Terrorism. He has lectured throughout North America and Europe. Between 1979 and 1989, Phares taught as a visiting lecturer on the History of the Middle East and Lebanon at Saint Joseph University, Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, and the Lebanese University. From 1993 to 2005, Phares taught at the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Since 1994, he has been a senior lecturer at FAU's Lifelong Learning Society. Since 2008, Phares has taught Global Strategies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
Political Activism in Lebanon
Soon after finishing his graduate degree in Public Law, Phares joined in 1981 the "MECHRIC Committee", a federation of Middle Eastern Christian NGOs. In 1984, Phares adhered to a small political party of center-left, the "Social Democratic Christian Union" - Union Sociale Démocratique Chrétienne (USDC).
In 1986, he represented the USDC in the political council of the Lebanese Forces, the umbrella organization for the Christian Resistance parties and independent personalities during the Lebanese civil war. He served as the head of External and Diaspora affairs in the Lebanese Forces during the years 1986 and 1987. In 1988 Phares revamped the USDC and was elected as Secretary General for the new Social Democratic Christian Party (PSDC). His attempts to democratize the Lebanese Forces coalition by demanding its leaders to go through a transparent electoral process put him on a collision course with the ruling warlords and led him to resign from the political council of the Lebanese Forces in March 1989. He sought to promote a pluralist and federalist system in Lebanon as the solution to the sectarian violence. His ideas on the matter are best exposed in his first publication, Pluralism in Lebanon.
Phares is ardently opposed to Islamic radicalization and a strong proponent of dialogue with liberal Muslims.
|1979||Pluralism in Lebanon||Kasleek University|
|1980||The Lebanese Thought and the Thesis of Arabization||Dar el-Sharq Press|
|1981||Democratic Dialogue||Manshurat el-Tagammoh|
|1985||Thirteen Centuries of Struggle||Mashreq Editions (Beirut)|
|1986||The Iranian Islamic Revolution||Dar el-Sharq Press|
|1995||Lebanese Christian Nationalism: The Rise and Fall of an Ethnic Resistance||L. Rienner Publishers|
|1998, 2001||History of the Middle East: Trends and Benchmarks||IRP University of Miami Press|
|2005||Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America||Palgrave Macmillan|
|2007||The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy||Palgrave Macmillan|
|2008||The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad||Palgrave Macmillan|
|2010||The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East||Simon & Schuster|
His columns have appeared in many publications including The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, World Defense Review, Family Security Matters, the World Defense Review", The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Denver Post, The Indianapolis Star, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Oregon News, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Detroit Free Press, the Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, La Razon (Spain), Le Devoir (Montreal), al Siyassa (Kuwait), al watan al Arabi (Egypt), and al Nahar (Lebanon).
- Author's Website
- Future Jihad Website
- The War of Ideas Website
- The Coming Revolution Website
- Wikistrat biography of Walid Phares