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Heads of State Gather at UN; Saber Rattling Builds

WHO: American University experts from the School of International Service

WHAT: Available to analyze and comment on issues at United Nations General Assembly Meeting
WHEN: September 20-ongoing

WHERE: American University, in studio, or phone interviews

Heads of State gathering in New York for the opening of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will be encountering:

• Countries divided by civil war,
• Continuing nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea,
• Atrocities in Syria,
• Human rights issues,
• Heightening tension in the Middle East post-Arab Spring,
• A tepid worldwide economic recovery,
• China-Japan squaring off over territorial disputes;
• Palestinian membership in UN organizations and agencies; and,
• Veto threats in the Security Council.

American University’s School of International Service experts are available to discuss a wide range of issues and leaders addressing the UNGA.

UN/International Affairs

David Bosco is an expert on international politics and the United Nations. He writes the Multilateralist blog for Foreign Policy magazine. He served as deputy director of a joint United Nations/NATO project on repatriating refugees in Sarajevo. He is author of Five to Rule Them All, a history of the UN Security Council. He is currently researching a book on the International Criminal Court.

James Goldgeier, dean of the School of International Service, is an expert in contemporary international relations, American foreign policy, and transatlantic security. Before arriving to AU, he directed an Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. He has held positions at the State Department, on the National Security Council staff, the Brookings Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations among others.

James Mittelman is an expert in international affairs and has worked for the United Nations and with civil society organizations. Mittelman is the author of several books on African politics, development, international organization, and globalization. He has had teaching and research appointments in Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, Malaysia, Japan, and Finland, and lived in Tanzania.

Iran and the Geopolitics of Oil

Jeff Colgan,
assistant professor, is an expert in the geopolitics of oil, international security, and international trade. He is the author of the forthcoming book Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War.

US Foreign Policy/Human Rights

Jordan Tama
specializes in the U.S. foreign policy making process, presidential-congressional relations, intelligence reform and counterterrorism policy. Tama has served as a senior staff member on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives and as an intelligence and counterterrorism policy advisor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

David Mislan, assistant professor in the U.S. foreign policy program, specializes in foreign policy analysis, international security, and qualitative methods. His most recent book, Enemies of the American Way: Identity and Presidential Foreign Policymaking (Continuum, 2012) investigates the relationship between how U.S. presidents define American identity and how they conceptualize threats to national security.

Israel-Palestine/Middle East/Peacebuilding

Mohammed Abu-Nimer,
director of AU’s Peacebuilding and Development Institute, has conducted interreligious conflict resolution training and interfaith dialogue workshops in conflict areas around the world, including Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Northern Ireland, the Philippines (Mindanao), and Sri Lanka. Abu-Nimer is the co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.

Boaz Atzili is an expert on international security with an emphasis on territorial conflicts and the politics of borders, and the international aspects of state weakness and state failure. He is especially interested in the politics of the Middle East and, in particular, Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Anthony Wanis St. John is an expert in international negotiation, military negotiations, ceasefires, humanitarian negotiations and peace processes including secret back channel negotiations. He is the author of Back Channel Negotiation: Secrecy in the Middle East Peace Process.


Carl LeVan
focuses on democratization, African security, and comparative political institutions. His influential critique of power sharing in Africa appeared in the January 2011 issue of "Governance." He has also published articles on the political economy of the Department of Defense's U.S. Africa Command, and on Nigerian civil society. An essay to be published in 2012 identifies "analytic authoritarianism" as an emerging area of comparative research.

Human Rights

Shadi Mokhtari specializes in human rights, Middle East Politics and Political Islam. She has an extensive background in human rights and women’s rights issues in the Middle East and Muslim World. She is the Editor in Chief of the Muslim World Journal of Human Rights and the author of After Abu Ghraib: Exploring Human Rights in America and the Middle East (Cambridge, 2009). Mokhtari is currently involved in two research undertakings: A United States Institute of Peace report on the de-legitimizing effects of the Iranian government's resort to heightened repression following the 2009 elections and a larger project mapping how human rights dynamics and discourses have changed in the Middle East since the recent wave of popular protest and demands for change has swept the region.

Jeff Bachman, professor of human rights, focuses on state responsibility for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. He is especially interested in the misuse of the law as a political tool through its selective application and enforcement. Bachman has field experience working for Amnesty International in the Government Relations for Europe/Eurasia program.


Paul Wapner
is the director of the Global Environmental Politics Program, and author of Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism, and Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics. His research focuses on environmental thought, transnational environmental activism, environmental ethics, and global environmental politics.

HIV/AIDS/Public Health Issues

Rachel Robinson
studies the politics of population, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Her publications include articles on the process of population policy adoption by African governments and the role of NGOs in responding to HIV across Africa. She has conducted fieldwork in Senegal, Nigeria, Malawi, and Namibia.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.