Daily Briefing - Tuesday August 31, 2010

Raed Jarrar is an Iraq-born architect, blogger, and political advocate. He currently lives in Washington, DC where he is the Iraq consultant for the American Friends Service Committee and a Senior Fellow at Peace Action. He first gain international prominence as the person referenced in the blog, “Where is Raed?” which was written from Baghdad by the pseudonymous author Salam Pax while the US invaded Iraq. Jarrar and his family compiled their own posts in the book, The Iraq War Blog, An Iraqi Family’s Inside View of the First Year of the Occupation. In 2003, he worked as the country director of CIVIC Worldwise, the only door-to-door civilian casualties survey in Iraq. He also founded Emaar, a non-governmental organization that carried out humanitarian and reconstruction work in Baghdad and southern Iraq. He has an article today on truthout.org titled, “Obama’s Iraq Speech: Don’t Expect Him to Say the War is Over.

Amjad Atallah Co-Directs the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation. Previously, Mr. Atallah headed Strategic Assessments Initiative, a not-for-profit organization committed to providing legal and policy assistance to parties involved in negotiations in conflict and post-conflict situations, where he worked on international policy and advocacy efforts of the Save Darfur Coalition, advised the Kosovar constitutional process, and prepared scenario planning exercises for the Palestinians and Israelis. Prior to that, Mr. Atallah advised the Palestinian negotiating team in peace negotiations with Israel on the issues of international borders, security, and constitutional issues, and served as their liaison to U.S. government officials in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Levy is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Policy Initiative of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and directed policy planning and international efforts at the Geneva Campaign Headquarters in Tel Aviv. Previously, Mr. Levy served as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice, Yossi Beilin, and under the Barak government he worked in the prime minister’s office as a special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit. He was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba negotiations with the Palestinians in January 2001, and of the negotiating team for the “Oslo B” Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Daily Briefing - Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jennifer McCoy is the director of the Carter Center's Americas Program and a political science professor at Georgia State University. She currently directs the Carter Center's Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter group and previously directed the Carter Center's project on Mediation and Monitoring in Venezuela from 2002-2004. She directed election monitoring projects for The Carter Center in Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Jamaica, and Peru, and has participated in election delegations to Indonesia, Haiti, Suriname, and Guyana. Dr. McCoy has spent time in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Uruguay as a Fullbright fellow. She has also edited or contributed to several books on the topic of Venezualen democracy most recently The Unraveling of Representative Democracy in Venezuela.

Michael Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist, who has been with the Los Angeles Times for more than 25 years. In that time he has worked as a financial columnist, political writer, technology writer, and foreign correspondent serving in Africa and Russia. Mr. Hiltzik received the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for articles exposing corruption in the entertainment industry. He is the author of the book Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age, published to widespread critical acclaim in 1999. His forthcoming book, The Colossus, is a history of the greatest Depression-era public works project, Hoover Dam. He is currently working on his fifth book, a narrative history of the New Deal.

Roger Morris holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard, served in the United States Foreign Service, on the White House Staff, and on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, until resigning over the invasion of Cambodia. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books on American politics, including Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician, 1913-1952, Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America, The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America. His study on national security policy, Strategic Demands of the 21st Century: New Vision for a New World, co-authored with Steven Schmidt, was published by the Green Institute in 2005.

He is completing Between the Graves—based on thousands of previously secret documents, a history of U.S.-Afghan relations and American policy and covert intervention in South Asia and the Middle East over the past half century, to be published by Alfred Knopf in 2010 with a major excerpt in Harper’s. He is also at work for Knopf on Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and Their Failed Ideals, a comparative history of the inner politics of the United States and Soviet Russia, and a major reinterpretation of their competition and its impact on the 21st-century.

Daily Briefing - Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rodolfo Espino is a professor of political science at Arizona State University specializing in American politics, racial politics, and political behavior. He is the editor of Latino Politics: Identify, Mobilization, and Representation, and co-director of the Minority Language Assistance Research Project.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Public Policy research in Washington, D.C. He writes a regular column for the Guardian and Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo. His opinion pieces appear regularly in The New York Times, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times among other prominent papers. He co-authored the book Social Security: The Phony Crisis and co-wrote Oliver Stone’s documentary South of the Border. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy, a non-partisan organization dedicated to reforming U.S. Foreign Policy.

Alex Hinton is an associate professor of anthropology at Rutgers University with a focus on genocide and political violence in Southeast Asia. He has written and edited several books on this topic including the forthcoming Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation and the Stirling Award winning Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide. He is currently in the process of writing several other books addressing the aftermath of genocide and the reconcilation process. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolutions, and Human Rights.