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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 Adjunct 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

U.S. military: Tanker ship was attacked by Iranian drone.

Sanam Vakil interviewed on CNN, 08/07

Iran just got trickier.

Sanam Vakil wrote for Chatham House, 08/01

Taming the Afghan menace.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Ahram Online, 07/17

Saudi-Iran talks could move to Oman, an intriguing shift for Israel.

Sanam Vakil quoted in The Times of Israel, 07/06

Raisi's economic agenda may depend on Iran nuclear deal.

Sanam Vakil wrote in Al-Monitor, 06/30

Election expected to cement ultra-conservative rule.

Sanam Vakil interviewed on CNN, 06/18

Iran choosing new president.

Sanam Vakil quoted on Voice of America, 06/18

Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance as Islamic Republic votes.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Associated Press, 06/17

What Iranian foreign policy could look like under President Raisi.

Sanam Vakil quoted on Radio Free Europe, 06/17