The State of Reform: Human Rights, Democratic Development, and Individual Freedoms in Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States with discussants Ali Alyami,
Nathan Brown, Thomas Melia and David Mikosz.
The discussion focuses on the status of human rights and political reform in the Gulf, in light of the $20 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States proposed by the White House.
Ali Alyami is the executive director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.
Prior to founding CDHR, Dr. Alyami served as a Senior Fellow at the Saudi Institute in Washington, D.C., as the Director of the educational peace program for the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, and as a Representative for the Arab Organization for Human Rights (a Cairo-based group) in North America. He has spoken at conferences throughout the U.S., Egypt, Sudan, Israel, and London. Dr. Alyami has offered expert testimony before Congress, and has advised senior officials at the Pentagon, National Security Counsel, and Department of State. He has a Ph.D. in Government and Diplomacy from Claremont Graduate University, a Masterâ€™s in International Relations a Bachelorâ€™s in Political Science from California State University. He is also fluent in Arabic.
Nathan J. Brown
Nathan Brown received his B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics and Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He teaches courses on Middle Eastern politics, as well as more general courses on comparative politics and international relations. His dissertation received the Malcolm Kerr award from the Middle East Studies Association in 1987.
Professor Brown is author of Peasant Politics in Modern Egypt (1990); The Rule of Law in the Arab World: Courts in Egypt and the Gulf (1997); Constitutions in a Non-Constitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government (2001); and Palestinian Politics After the Oslo Accords: Resuming Arab Palestine (2003).
Professor Brown is the recipient of Fulbright grants to study in Egypt and the Gulf and teach in Israel. He recently served two years as Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Thomas Melia has been Deputy Executive Director since May 2005. He was previously Director of Research at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC where he continues to teach graduate courses about democracy promotion.
For more than a dozen years, Melia held senior posts at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a leading non-governmental organization engaged in the promotion of democracy worldwide. From 1998 to 2001, he was the Institute's Vice President for Programs. Earlier, he managed the Institute's programs in Central and Eastern Europe (1988 to 1993), in the Middle East (1993 to 1996), and directed programs in more than a dozen African countries.
Mr. Melia was Associate Director of the Free Trade Union Institute of the AFL-CIO (1986 to 1988). Prior to that he served for six years as Legislative Assistant for foreign and defense policy to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). Thomas Melia received his M.A. in Africa Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
David Mikosz is the associate director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management.
Prior to his assignment to American University, Dr. Mikosz spent nine years in Central Asia working on elections and program management. Most recently, he was the Country Director for the International Foundation for Election Services (IFES) in the Kyrgyz Republic. He was responsible for coordinating and managing all IFES-related activities in the Kyrgyz Republic, including overseeing civic education and youth involvement programs, as well as election-related activities. Before that, Mikosz was an operations officer for the World Bank's Central Asian regional office where he worked on training programs and supporting ongoing and future bank operations. Mikosz was also the regional program manager for an IT project that set up 50 internet access points in the five countries of Central Asia.
Mikosz earned a masters and doctorate in social and political sciences and history from Cambridge University in England. He has written on higher education issues in Central Asia, Kyrygz political reform and American history. Mikosz is nearly fluent in Russian and basic Kyrgyz.