Firas Maksad is the Director at The Arabia Foundation and an adjunct professor at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. His areas of expertise include US foreign policy in the Middle East, in addition to the politics of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the Arab Gulf. Prior to joining The Arabia Foundation Firas served as a research associate to Ambassador Dennis Ross, the former US–Middle East presidential envoy. He was a political consultant for global law firm DLA Piper and oversaw research on the Levant at Eurasia Group, a prominent political risk advisory firm. Firas’ articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times and other publications. He completed his graduate studies at The Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and his undergraduate degree in political science at the American University of Beirut. Firas has lived and travelled throughout the Middle East, including his native Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.