Director, Middle East Program

Judith Kipper, an internationally recognized Middle East specialist, is director of Middle East Programs at the Institute of World Affairs. She established and directed the Council on Foreign Relations Middle East Forum (1985-2007) and she was also the director of the Middle East Studies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Kipper consults to the private sector on Middle East issues. She was an international affairs consultant to ABC News (1985-2007). Previously, she was a guest scholar at The Brookings Institution and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She travels frequently to the Middle East , particularly to the Gulf states including Saudi Arabia. She also meets regularly with government and business leaders, and others in the region.

Kipper is the co-editor of The Middle East in Global Perspective (Westview Press, 1991); and supervised The West Bank Data Project: A Survey of Israel’s Policies, and The Arab-Israeli Military Balance and the Art of Operations. She contributes to publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post and comments on television and radio in the United States, Europe, Japan, China and the Middle East. She speaks frequently to university, business, economic, and banking groups on Middle Eastern and international affairs. She has briefed The Brookings Institution Board of Trustees, Council on Foreign Relations Corporate Program, Chase Manhattan Bank Board, Institutional Investor Council, Lockheed Corporation, Mobil Oil Corporation, Shell Oil Company, ExxonMobil, Bear Stearns, World Trade Institute and many other institutions in the United States and internationally.

During the Gulf crisis, Kipper testified as an expert witness before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Appropriations Committee. She was with Peter Jennings of ABC News in Baghdad, Iraq for an extensive interview with President Saddam Hussein (November, 1990). She arrived with Ted Koppel of ABC News in Kuwait just after its liberation. She also went to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza during the Gulf Crisis. Kipper was in Moscow for an ABC News interview with President Gorbachev in July, 1991 which she negotiated and again right after the August coup for the ABC News Town Meeting with Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

Kipper has broad based experience in international relations. She was the international affairs advisor to the publisher and editor at the French newsweekly L’Express in Paris. With a special interest in emerging countries. she drove from Paris to India for six months and then spent a year in Israel and Egypt before returning to the United States. She served on the board of Middle East Watch, a human rights organization; is a member of the advisory board of Search for Common Ground in the Middle East and serves on the board of the Institute of World Affairs.