Senior Research Fellow
Nawaf Obaid is a political scientist that works on intelligence and security issues. He specialises in the history of war and defence doctrines, with a particular emphasis on nuclear posturing.
He is currently a Co-Founder & CEO of the Lana Black Alpine Foundation.
From 2004 to 2007, he was Special Advisor for Strategic Communications to Prince Turki Al Faisal, while Prince Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and then the United States. From 2007 to 2011, he worked as a Consultant at the Saudi Royal Court, where he was seconded as a Special Advisor to the Saudi Media Minister from 2010 to 2011. He then served as the Special Counselor to Prince Mohammad bin Nawaf, the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2015.
Dr Obaid was the Inaugural Visiting Fellow for the Intelligence and Defence Projects at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 2017 to 2018. He was also a former Visiting Fellow there from 2012 to 2017. He has been a Research Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an Adjunct Fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.
- BS, International Relations; Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, 1994–1996.
- MPP, International Security & Political Economy; John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 1996–1998.
- PhD, Political Science (Security Studies); Department of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000–2001 (coursework completed).
- MA, War Studies; Department of War Studies at King's College London, 2010–2011.
- PhD, War Studies; Department of War Studies at King’s College London, 2011-2013.
- Intelligence and Security Studies
- Nuclear Weapons History and Doctrine
- Cold War History
- Middle East Studies
- French Defence & Nuclear Doctrine
- Saudi Arabian Defence Doctrine
- Russian Defence & Nuclear Doctrine
- Swiss Security & Defence Doctrine
- Arab and Muslim World History
- The Case Against Assad (To be published in 2025).
- The Failure of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab World (Praeger Security International, 2020)
- National Security in Saudi Arabia: Threats, Responses and Challenges (Praeger Security International, 2005)
- Oil Kingdom at 100: Petroleum Policy Making in Saudi Arabia (WINEP, 2000)
- Murder by Chain of Command: The Case Against Assad (Working Paper). 2024
- The Muslim Brotherhood: A Failure in Political Evolution. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. July 2017.
- A Saudi Arabian Defense Doctrine. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. May 2014.
- The Long Hot Arab Summer: On the Viability of the Nation State System in the Arab World.Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. March 2013.
- Saudi Arabia’s Strategic Energy Initiative: Safeguarding Against Supply Disruptions.Center for Strategic and International Studies. November 2006.
- Meeting the Challenge of Fragmented Iraq: A Saudi Perspective. Center for Strategic and International Studies. April 2006.
- Saudi Arabia’s Sustainable Capacity and Security Issues Center for Strategic and International Studies. September 2005.
- Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom’s Response Center for Strategic and International Studies. September 2005.
- Saudi Counterterrorism Efforts Center for Strategic and International Studies. February 2005.
- Saudi Internal Security: A Risk Assessment. Center for Strategic and International Studies. June 2004.
- Saudi Military Forces and Development Center for Strategic and International Studies. May 2004.
OpEds and Academic Articles
Dr Obaid has over one hundred and fifty OpEds and academic articles that have been published in the main American, British, French and Arab newspapers, magazines and academic journals. A select sample can be found on Wikipedia.