Vision Series addresses new challenges for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East

Peter Mandaville

Peter Mandaville has had a ringside seat for changes to the power structures of the Middle East in his former roles as senior advisor at the U.S. Department of State and as a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In the next installment of the Office of the Provost’s Mason Vision Series, Mandaville, professor of international affairs at the Schar School of Policy and Government and director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, will address “A Decade Beyond the Arab Spring: New Challenges for U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East.”

Drawing on his regional expertise as well as his experience as a U.S. government official, Mandaville will highlight the 10th anniversary of what some call a political earthquake in the Middle East. The Arab Spring included the popular uprisings that toppled authoritarian regimes in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia and also set in motion a chain of events that produced devastating civil wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen—and the rise of ISIS.

In acknowledging that a clear vision and roadmap for American diplomacy in the region seems increasingly difficult to discern, Mandaville will explore some of the key questions and issues facing the new U.S. administration as it determines how best to navigate emerging challenges in the Middle East.

“President Biden has brought in a team of veteran foreign policy hands,” Mandaville said, “but the political landscape that confronts them in the Middle East has never been more challenging.”

The Mason Vision Series will be live-streamed through GMU-TV at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 19. Individuals will have the opportunity to participate and engage in the discussion by submitting questions via email to or Twitter by using #VisionSeriesMason. To RSVP, click here.