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Stephen Tankel

Assistant Professor School of International Service

Stephen Tankel is an assistant professor in the School of International Service at American University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Professor Tankel specializes in international security with a focus on terrorism and counterterrorism, political and military affairs in South Asia, and U.S. foreign and defense policies related to these issues. He has published widely on these topics and conducted field research on conflicts and militancy in Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Balkans. Professor Tankel has also lived and worked in Egypt. Columbia University Press published his first book, Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba, in summer 2011, and will publish his next one exploring how partner nations in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia enable and constrain U.S. counterterrorism efforts. In addition to his writing, Professor Tankel is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and is a senior editor of the web magazine War on the Rocks. He is frequently asked to advise U.S. policymakers and practitioners on a range of security issues. Professor Tankel spent 2014 serving as a senior advisor for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Department of Defense.


BS, Cornell University
MSc, London School of Economics
PhD, War Studies, King's College London

SIS - School of International Service
Contact Info
(202) 885-2369

Send email to Stephen Tankel

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


  • Spring 2017

  • Fall 2017

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Media Appearances

Interviewed for a article regarding Obama's speech and visit to Kabul.  In this article he addresses the thorny issue of negotiating with the Taliban. Read full story here.

Quoted in “Pakistan: A Militant Most Wanted” Financial Times. May 1, 2012. Read the article here.

Featured in an interview with the Washington Post “Pakistani militant Hafiz Mohammad Saed seeks protection from bounty hunters.” April 22, 2012. Read the full article here.

Featured on a panel discussing the state of Al Qaeda. See video of the discussion here.

Quoted in WNYC article “Gillibrand, Vets Seek Faster Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan.” March 26, 2012. Read full text of article here.

Featured in an interview with WNYC about the U.S. presence if Afghanistan. Listen to full audio here.

Quoted in  “Hearing in Congress on Baluchistan: Crossing the Rubicon or Political Theatre?” February 8, 2012. Read the full article here.

AU News and Achievements