The Middle East After the Arab Spring: Economics, Identity, Strategy


  • Vali Nasr


Vali Nasr is Professor of International Politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University, Senior Advisor at Kissinger Associates, Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy at Brookings Institution, and a columnist at Bloomberg View. He served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke between 2009 and 2011. He has previously served as Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

He is a specialist on political and social developments in the Muslim world and is the author of Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Middle Class and How it Will Change Our World (Free Press, 2009); The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future (W.W. Norton, 2006); and Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2006); as well as a number of other books and numerous articles in academic journals and encyclopedias.

He has advised senior American policy makers, world leaders, and businesses including the President, Secretary of State, senior members of the Congress, and presidential campaigns, and has written for New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Newsweek, Time, Christian Science Monitor, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and has provided frequent expert commentary to CNN, BBC, National Public Radio, Newshour, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and has been a guest on the Charlie Rose Show and Meet the Press, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, GPS with Fareed Zakaria, and This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

He is a member of Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and National Democratic Institute; and has been the recipient of grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. He is a Carnegie Scholar for 2006.

He received his BA from Tufts University in International Relations summa cum laude and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. He earned his masters from the Fletcher School of Law in and Diplomacy in international economics and Middle East studies in 1984, and his PhD from MIT in political science in 1991.


The S.T. Lee Lecture was established by Seng Tee Lee, a businessman and philanthropist located in Singapore, with the dual objectives of raising public understanding of the complex policy issues facing the global community today and increasing public support for informed international cooperation.  The S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecturer is chosen for his or her international reputation as a leader in international political, economic, social and health issues, and strategic policy-making concerns.

Previous S.T. Lee Lecturers have included John Prendergast, author and human rights activist, the Honorable Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, the Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk, Joseph F. Nye, the Dean emeritus and Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Dr. Paul Farmer, Professor of Medicine and Medical Anthropology, Harvard University and Medical Director of the Clinique Bon Sauveur in Cange, Hait.