The Middle East Institute is the oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C. dedicated solely to the Middle East. Since its founding in 1946, MEI has earned a reputation for providing unbiased, expert information and analysis on this critical region. We are committed to promoting regional knowledge, cultural understanding, and increasing positive engagement between the US and the Middle East on a diverse range of issues.

Who We Are

MEI's reputation for excellence is rooted in the expertise of its scholars. MEI is currently home to 11 resident and over 30 non-resident scholars. Each has deep and varied experience in the Middle East, as well as strong relationships with U.S. and international decision-makers and influential thinkers in the region. Our experts provide unparalleled insight into domestic and regional dynamics to an audience that includes the U.S. Congress, National Security Council, Department of State, and national news organizations, among others.

Our distinguished senior leadership directs MEI’s spectrum of programs and activities, keeping us on the cutting edge of our field. Learn more about President Wendy J. Chamberlin, Senior Vice President Kate Seelye, Vice President for Policy and Research Paul Salem, Vice President for Development Kevin Cowl, and MEI’s staff.

Board of Governors
MEI’s Board of Governors is a body of respected individuals that oversees the strategic direction and investments of the Institute, and ensures adherence to our stated mission and values. The members of the Board bring to MEI decades of experience in diplomacy, academia, business, security and military affairs, and more.

Our Approach

Three major pillars constitute MEI’s approach to achieving our mission: Policy & Research, Education, and Arts & Culture. With all three branches working in cooperation, we are uniquely able to break down boundaries between traditionally disparate fields to pursue a more holistic, comprehensive understanding of the Middle East.

Our Center for Policy and Research shapes national discourse by producing and disseminating substantive analysis, and elevating regional voices in the dialogue on foreign policy. The Center for Education trains and informs the next generation of Middle East experts. MEI’s Center for Arts and Culture provides a window into the art, film, literature and music of the region, while also amplifying the role of Middle Eastern artists as key civil society actors.

Our Values

MEI’s dedication to a core set of institutional values forms the foundation of our identity as a nonpartisan organization.

We do not take institutional positions on issues. This gives MEI scholars a great degree of individual freedom in their research and publications, and promotes the pursuit of truth.

We strive to be fair and accurate in our analysis, programs, and educational endeavors.

We actively work to involve and elevate regional voices in impactful dialogue, because these perspectives are critical to informing policy.