The Center for Jewish Civilization is pleased to announce that Dr. Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy will serve as this year’s Andrew H. Siegal Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy. The annual professorship and lectureship is made possible by the support of Mr. Michael Deutsch (COL‘88, L‘92; partner with and co-founder of Singer Deutsch LLP) and his family. It was inaugurated in honor of the late Andrew Siegal, a philanthropist who lived in both the United States and Israel, and is inspired by Siegal’s hopeful vision for the Middle East.
For years, the professorship has allowed CJC students to work closely with skilled practitioners and scholars. Past fellows have included Professors Tamara Cofman Wittes and Danielle Pletka. The CJC’s very own Ambassador Dennis Ross was last year’s Siegal Professor, and offered a lecture on “What the Biden Administration Faces in the Middle East.”
Dr. Levitt will continue our time-honored tradition by teaching a course titled “Combatting Terrorist Financing 20 Years after 9/11” during the Spring 2022 semester. The class aims to unpuzzle how both foreign and domestic terrorists organizations are resourced, how they move and access money, and how governments and other international actors seek to combat the financing of transnational threats. He will doubtlessly contribute to the Center’s strong culture of mentorship during his time as fellow.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named the Andrew H. Siegel Professor in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy for the 2021-2022 academic year,” Levitt stated. “The fact that the CJC maintains a fellowship specifically geared toward establishing close and meaningful relationships between students and thought leaders here in the D.C. community,” he continued, “underscores the Center’s commitment to taking learning beyond the classroom.”
This upcoming semester, Dr. Levitt particularly looks forward to engaging with students on issues relating not only to counterterrorism and security issues, but broader U.S. policy toward the Middle East, as well. He anticipates that this engagement will be a two-way street: “over the years I have taught at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Georgetown SFS, I have learned much from my students and the varied perspectives they bring to any given foreign policy discussion.”
Dr. Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he directs the Institute’s Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Previously, Levitt served in the senior executive service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Before that, he served as an FBI counterterrorism analyst, including work on the Millennial and September 11th plots. Additionally, he served as a State Department counterterrorism advisor to Gen. James L. Jones, the special envoy for Middle East regional security (SEMERS).
Levitt is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has held fellowships with the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, and he has sat on the advisory boards of think tanks in Washington, London, Singapore, Israel and the UAE.
Widely published, Dr. Levitt is the author of many articles and studies. His most recent book is Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God (Georgetown University Press/Hurst Publishers, 2013) and his latest monograph is Rethinking U.S. Efforts on Counterterrorism: Toward a Sustainable Plan Two Decades after 9/11 (The Washington Institute, 2021).
Stay tuned for the Center’s announcement of event details for Dr. Levitt’s 2022 Andrew H. Siegal Memorial Lecture in American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy!