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Sanam Vakil

Sanam Vakil

James Anderson Adjunct Professor


Sanam Vakil is the James Anderson Adjunct Professor at The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe; and Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. Previously she was the deputy director and a senior research fellow in the programme. Sanam leads the Iran Forum project focusing on future trends in Iran's domestic and foreign policy and follows GCC and Gulf Arab dynamics alongside wider regional security issues in the Middle East. Sanam has been a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University associated with the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

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

Iran-U.S.: Faltering nuclear talks enter dangerous phase.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Financial Times, 12/28

How Tehran views Washington.

Sanam Vakil wrote for The Washington Institute on Near East Policy, 12/01

Iran nuclear deal talks to resume but optimism is low.

Sanam Vakil quoted in The National, 11/25

Lebanon is dragged back into eye of Iranian-Saudi storm.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Daily Mail, 11/01

Lebanon is dragged back into eye of Iranian-Saudi storm.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Daily Mail, 11/01

Saudi Arabia set to ramp up UK trade following Newcastle FC deal.

Sanam Vakil quoted in Arabian Business, 10/24