Mark Dubowitz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mark Dubowitz
Born11 September 1968
South Africa
OccupationCEO, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materJohns Hopkins University
University of Toronto

Mark Dubowitz (11 September 1968) is the CEO of the hawkish[1] think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he co-founded its Center on Economic and Financial Power as well as its Center on Military and Political Power.[2][1][3] He is a proponent of sanctions against Iran to escalate a confrontation with Iran[4] and was a leading critic of the Iran nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. According to The New York Times, “Mark Dubowitz’s campaign to draw attention to what he saw as the flaws in the Iran nuclear deal has taken its place among the most consequential ever undertaken by a Washington think tank leader.” [1]

He was a leading critic of the Iran nuclear agreement, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but then tried to save it after President Trump withdrew from the agreement according to his own account.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Dubowitz is a citizen of the United States.[5] He was born in South Africa and raised in Toronto.[6]

He has a master's degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies where he focused on China, and JD and MBA degrees from the University of Toronto.[6][7][3] He has also studied at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.[8] He spent the first 8 years after law school working on funding technology start-ups in Toronto, as an attorney and venture capitalist in Toronto.[6]


Dubowitz is the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.[9] He co-founded FDD’s Center on Economic and Financial Power and FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power,[3] and is the author or co-author of more than twenty studies on economic sanctions.[10][3] He also is co-chair of the Project on U.S. Middle East Nonproliferation Strategy.[11]

He joined the FDD in 2003 and quickly became an authority on international terrorism and sanctions against states that sponsor terrorism such as Iran and North Korea.[8] "I was a strange kid with an obsession with terrorism and plane hijackings. On September 11th it turned out that terrorism is not just an international problem, after it hit us at home," he told Ynet news. In 2003 I joined a small organization (FDD) despite not having any relevant political or policy experience and coming from a wholly different background." [8]

Dubowitz is a lecturer and senior research fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto where he teaches and conducts research on international negotiations, sanctions, and Iran's nuclear program.[12]

He is currently sanctioned by the Iranian government.[13]

Opposition to 2015 nuclear deal with Iran[edit]

According to the New York Times, "no one outside the Trump administration was a more persistent or effective critic [of the Iran nuclear agreement] than Mark Dubowitz".[1]

He told YnetNews in 2011 that at FDD they "closely monitor international companies that do business with Iran, invest in Iran's energy sector and provide important equipment and technologies to this sector.[8] They also monitor the movement of commercial vessels coming into and leaving Iran.[8]

Dubowitz opposed the Obama administration's nuclear diplomacy with Iran, testifying before Congress on several occasions against the nuclear talks, including to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (February 2014),[14] Senate Banking Committee (January 27, 2015),[15] House Financial Services Committee (July 22, 2015), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (July 29, 2015),[16] Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (August 5, 2015),[17] and the House Ways and Means Committee (November 4, 2015).[18]

Dubowitz authored or co-authored several op-eds on the Iran deal, including a July 8, 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed with Reuel Marc Gerecht The Iran Nuclear Paradox,[19] a Dubowitz/Gerecht Wall Street Journal op-ed Iran's Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America,[20] a November 8, 2011 New York Times op-ed with Gerecht, Don't Give Up on Sanctions,[21] and many others. Recently, Dubowitz authored How to Get a Better Deal With Iran,[22] and Amend Iran Deal to Improve It: Opposing View in Foreign Policy and USA Today.[23]

Dubowitz has co-authored many reports against the Iran deal for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. These include: Improving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which he co-authored with Annie Fixler in August 2015; and Iran’s Economic Resilience Against Snapback Sanctions Will Grow Over Time, which he co-authored in August 2015 with Annie Fixler and Rachel Ziemba.[citation needed] On the July 26, 2017 PBS Newshour evening broadcast the subject and Robert Malley exchanged views on Iranian nuclear deal compliance and military intentions.[24]

Dubowitz was critical of the agreement, saying it did not address Iran's non-nuclear malign activity, such as its misappropriation of economic relief to fund terrorism, and "its lack of any limits on the regime’s ballistic missile program and its 'sunset provisions' that would allow Iran to increase its capacity to enrich uranium beginning seven years from now." [1] According to Politico, although Dubowitz "was an intense critic of the Iran deal," he "nonetheless advocated against scrapping it." [25] Following President Trump's May 8, 2018 withdrawal of the JCPOA, The New York Times says "Mr. Dubowitz said he felt 'ambivalent' about the withdrawal: happy that Mr. Trump saw the agreement as flawed but disappointed in the rejection of the proposed fix, which he said 'seemed closer than anyone would have expected.'[1] 'I was very invested in the process of trying to help the E3 bridge the gap with us,' he added, referring to negotiations with British, French and German diplomats." [1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "He Was a Tireless Critic of the Iran Deal. Now He Insists He Wanted to Save It". The New York Times. 2018-05-13. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  2. ^ Kampeas, Ron (July 15, 2015). "Why the Republican Congress Most Likely Cannot Stop the Iran Deal". Haaretz.
  3. ^ a b c d "FDD | Mark Dubowitz". FDD. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  4. ^ "U.S. Senators Pushing for Tougher Sanctions on Iran, to the Point of Bankruptcy". Haaretz. Associated Press. November 9, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  5. ^ "Mark Dubowitz profile". Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Goodspeed, Peter (January 28, 2012). "Ratcheting Up The Hassle Factor; Expert sees sanctions against Iran wounding the regime by making it difficult to do business". National Post.
  7. ^ "Master of Global Affairs". Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e "The man who fights Iran". Ynet News.
  9. ^ "Iran-Sanctions Bid Targets Oil, Tanker Companies to Cut Exports". Bloomberg Businessweek. February 14, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "Foundation for Defense of Democracies". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  11. ^ "Press Release - Project on U.S. Middle East Nonproliferation Strategy | Institute for Science and International Security". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  12. ^ "Mark Dubowitz - Master of Global Affairs". 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  13. ^ "Foreign Ministry Blacklists 'Foundation for Defence of Democracies'". Islamic Republic of Iran: Ministry of Foreign Affairs. August 24, 2019.
  14. ^ "Dubowitz prepared testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee" (PDF). Senate Foreign Relations Committee website. February 4, 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  15. ^ "Dubowitz prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  16. ^ "Congressional Testimony: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  17. ^ "Testimony: Foundation for Defense of Democracies". Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  18. ^ "Testimony: Foundation for Defense of Democracies". Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  19. ^ Marc, Reuel (2015-07-08). "The Iranian Nuclear Paradox". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  20. ^ Marc, Reuel (2015-04-03). "Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz: Iran's Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  21. ^ "Don't Give Up on Sanctions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  22. ^ "How to Get a Better Deal With Iran". Foreign Policy. 2015-08-17. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  23. ^ "Amend Iran deal to improve it: Opposing view". 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  24. ^ PBS Newshour. (26 July 2017). "Trump signals he might pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. What’s at stake?" PBS website Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  25. ^ Nelson, Louis. "Pompeo threatens Iran with 'strongest sanctions in history'". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-01-30.

External links[edit]