Kenneth Pollack is a Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, where he advises clients on Middle East-related matters. Dr. Pollack is an expert on Middle Eastern political and military affairs, with particular emphasis on Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the other nations of the Persian Gulf region.
Dr. Pollack is currently a senior fellow and director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and served as the Saban Center’s director of research from 2002 to 2009.
Dr. Pollack has held numerous U.S. government positions, including at the White House and Central Intelligence Agency. He began his career as an Iran-Iraq military analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1988 to 1995. During that time, he was the principal author of the CIA’s classified post-mortem on Iraqi strategy and military operations during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991.
Dr. Pollack received the CIA’s Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Performance of Duty for work before and during the Persian Gulf War. He also twice received the CIA’s Exceptional Performance award, also for work related to the Persian Gulf War.
Dr. Pollack twice served on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1995-1996, he was Director for Near East and South Asian affairs, and in 1999-2001, he served as Director for Persian Gulf affairs. In this latter capacity, he was the principal working-level official for U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council States at the White House.
In addition to these positions, Dr. Pollack has been a senior research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, where he principally worked on long-term issues related to Middle Eastern political and military affairs for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has been the director for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Dr. Pollack has authored or co-authored seven books on the Middle East including: A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (Random House); Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New U.S. Strategy Toward Iran (Brookings Press); Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover of a Civil War in Iraq (Brookings Press); The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (Random House); Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991 (University of Nebraska Press); and The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (Random House).
Dr. Pollack received his B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.