Project on Middle East Democracy
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|Focus||Supporting democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa.|
|Method||Research and advocacy|
|Stephen McInerney (Executive Director)|
The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to examining how genuine democracies can develop in the Middle East and how the United States can best support that process. Through dialogue, research, and advocacy, POMED works to strengthen the constituency for U.S. policies that peacefully support democratic reform in the Middle East.
In 2004, a small group of graduate students at Georgetown University began meeting regularly to discuss the need for a stronger voice in Washington in support of democratic principles in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The group was driven by a firm belief that the advancement of democratic values is not only in the interest of the region's citizens, but also very much in the strategic interests of the United States.
In 2006, this group formally established the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) to help fill gaps it had identified: to inform the Washington policy community on key political developments in the MENA region and the impact of U.S. policy on the prospects for genuine democratic change; to carry out sustained advocacy on behalf of greater U.S. support for democratic values; and to help broaden U.S. engagement beyond relationships with the region's governments and narrow set of traditional elites.
Since that time, POMED has also grown to help build the capacity of dozens of independent civil society organizations in the MENA region that wish to play the same role locally that POMED plays in Washington—of undertaking independent research and analysis, generating independent recommendations for policy, and carrying out advocacy to advance those recommendations.
Through Research, Advocacy, and Civil Society Partnerships, POMED works to strengthen support for genuine democratic development in the Middle East and North Africa.
Research: The research program produces original analysis of key issues and trends in democratic change, political reform, human rights, and authoritarianism in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa and of U.S. policy as it pertains to democratic development in the region. Research publications include Snapshots, Policy Briefs, Expert Q&A’s, Backgrounders, Reports, and Fact Sheets. Authors include POMED’s Nonresident Fellows, resident staff, and other experts based in the region, the United States, and Europe.
Advocacy: The advocacy program directly engages a broad network of U.S. policymakers, while working closely with the coalition of activists and advocates who share a commitment to democracy and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa.
Civil Society Partnerships: The civil society partnerships program aims to build the capacity of emerging regional policy centers through technical assistance trainings and regular guidance and mentorship. We work with nascent civil society organizations across the MENA region to strengthen advocacy and policy writing skills and promote improved institutional practices to help ensure organizational viability and impact.
Board of Directors
- Thomas O. Melia, Visiting Professor, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
- Andrew Albertson, Executive Director, Foreign Policy for America
- J. Scott Carpenter, Managing Director, Jigsaw_(company)
- Michele Dunne, Director and Senior Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Stephen Grand, Executive Director, Middle East Task Force, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council
- Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic Word, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
- Steven Heydemann, Janet Wright Ketcham '53 Chair in Middle East Studies Smith College; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
- Lionel C. Johnson, President, Pacific Pension & Investment Institute
- Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States; Member of the United States House of Representatives, 1985-2007
- Kori Schake, Deputy Director-General, International Institute for Strategic Studies
- Michael Shor, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
- Project on Middle East Democracy (official website)