Bilal Saab

Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, Atlantic Council
Mr. Saab is Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. He served as a non-resident Middle East scholar (and previously visiting fellow) at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) in Washington. Before that, he was the founding executive director and head of research of the Washington, D.C. office of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), a Dubai-based Gulf strategy and security consulting firm. He joined CNS after serving four years as Research Analyst at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Prior to joining Brookings, he held research and managerial positions at the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland (where he was a British Council scholar), the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) in Beirut, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington, D.C. He is fluent in spoken and written Arabic and French.
In his capacity as specialist in Middle East security and military affairs, Saab has briefed numerous diplomatic, defense, and intelligence agencies in the United States government. In addition, he has lectured at various universities in the United States and spoken at a number of high-level terrorism and security conferences in Europe. He has provided expert commentary to various global media organizations including CNN, BBC, and NPR. His publications have appeared in a number of peer-reviewed and reputable outlets including The Nonproliferation Review, The Washington Quarterly, The Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. His shorter analyses have run in various influential policy publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Interest, Defense One, and the World Today. 


  • Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park
  • M.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park 
  • M.A. from the University of St Andrews in International Security Studies
  • B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration from the American University of Beirut (AUB)
  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • US Middle East policy
  • Nuclear and conventional deterrence
  • Counterterrorism
  • Arms control and nonproliferation in the Middle East
  • Islamist movements
  • Arab reform and good governance
  • Middle East security and terrorism

See a full list of Bilal Saab's recent articles.