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Sanam Vakil

James Anderson Adjunct Professor

Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies


Sanam Vakil is the James Anderson Adjunct Professor, and Ajunct Professor of Middle East Studies at The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe; Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University associated with the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order; and Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow in the Middle East North Africa Programme at Chatham House. At Chatham House Professor Vakil leads the Iran Forum project focusing on future trends in Iran's domestic and foreign policy and follows wider Middle Eastern issues. Before these appointments, from 2003-2005, Sanam was an assistant professor of Middle East Studies at SAIS Washington. She served as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations also providing research analysis to the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa department. Sanam provides research, commentary and political risk analysis for companies and organizations working in the Middle East. She has been consulted by high ranking government officials in the United States and Europe. Vakil holds a PhD in international relations from SAIS. Professor Vakil is the author of numerous monographs, book reviews, working papers and articles in U.S. and international journals on Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.



  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Middle East
  • Persian Gulf
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey


  • American Foreign Policy
  • Governance
  • International Relations
  • Islamic Religion, Culture and Law
  • Oil Politics
  • Women's Rights


  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Persian

In the News

Aligning perspectives and policies on Iran and the JCPOA.

Sanam Vakil participated in Chatham House webinar, 02/03

Diplomacy. To ease tensions with the United States, Iran must make concessions.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Courrier International, 01/28

Turkey offers uncertain refuge for Iranians fleeing persecution.

Sanam Vakil quoted in The New York Times, 01/26

After the Qatar boycott, can the GCC come together?

Sanam Vakil interviewed on World Politics Review’s Trend Lines podcast, 01/14

Foreign policy priorities for the Biden administration.

Sanam Vakil wrote for Chatham House, 01/14

Qatar crisis: A beginning to the end?

Sanam Vakil wrote for Chatham House, 01/08

Key Middle East influencers on U.S. Iran policy and the implications for the UK.

Sanam Vakil wrote for Royal United Services Institute, 12/16

Iran accuses Israel of killing top nuclear scientist.

Sanam Vakil interviewed on CNN, 12/02