Ranj Alaaldin



Ranj Alaaldin is a fellow at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs. He was previously a nonresident fellow at the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. and a visiting scholar at Columbia University. Alaaldin is a foreign policy specialist looking at issues of international security, good governance, climate-related security challenges, track II diplomacy, and the interplay between public policy and human security.

Alaaldin is also the director of Crisis Response Council, a Carnegie Corporation initiative focused on peacebuilding and de-escalation in the Middle East, and advises the World Bank on youth empowerment and the political economy of violence.

Alaaldin obtained his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, where he also obtained degrees in International Law. He previously worked for a conflict mediation organization in the UK, was an associate fellow at King’s College London and an associate fellow at Oxford Research Group. He has led multiple research teams in the MENA region, including Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey, conducting interviews with political and clerical figures, Shiite militias, and ISIS prisoners.

Alaaldin has written and led studies on post-conflict reconstruction, climate-related security threats, security sector reform, U.S. and European foreign policy for the World Bank, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance. He has presented his work at the World Bank, the House of Commons, and the UK Foreign Affairs Committee. Alaaldin has published in academic journals and edited volumes and writes for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy.

Research Areas

  • International security
  • Good governance
  • Post-conflict recovery
  • Conflict resolution

Countries of focus

  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • GCC

Other Areas of Interest

  • Public policy
  • EU foreign policy
  • Armed groups
  • Climate change


  • Ph.D., International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2017
  • L.L.M., Public International Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • L.L.B., Department of Law, University of Hertfordshire


Iraq, Türkiye, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates agreed to collaborate on the ambitious Development Road project. ME Council experts assess the drivers behind the agreement and feasibility of the initiative.    
Ranj Alaaldin, Dania Thafer, Galip Dalay, Özge Genç, June Park
Following Iran's first-ever direct attack on Israel, and Tel Aviv's retaliation, what is the outlook for the regional spillover of the war on Gaza? 
Ranj Alaaldin
With the growing impact of militia groups on global security, a more sustainable policy approach to confronting them is needed.
Ranj Alaaldin
Middle East Council experts analyze the implications of the exchange of strikes between Iran and Israel for the ongoing war on Gaza.
Galip Dalay, Omar H. Rahman, Ranj Alaaldin, Özge Genç, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Shahram Akbarzadeh, Hamidreza Azizi
In recent years, several of the Middle East conflicts that raged in the previous decade have simmered down. But with the potential for relapse high, what can be done to prevent it?
Ranj Alaaldin
Iran is using the latest war in the Middle East to advance its long-standing agenda. Can it be stopped without expanding the current conflict?
Ranj Alaaldin
Israel’s military campaign in Gaza is entering its fourth month with no end in sight. Council experts explore various dimensions of the fallout.
Adel Abdel Ghafar, Galip Dalay, Omar H. Rahman, Beverley Milton Edwards, Tarik M. Yousef, Abdalftah Hamed Ali, Alhala Alkuwari, Ranj Alaaldin, Sahar Khamis
After brokering an historic prisoner exchange between long-time enemies, Qatar has a chance to continue expanding its geopolitical reach through its role as a mediator of conflict.
Ranj Alaaldin, Tanner Manley
The expansion of BRICS, announced at the August summit in South Africa, signals an emerging shift in the international order. Middle East Council experts analyze the significance of the bloc on the global stage and discuss questions raised at the summit about multipolarity, de-dollarization, and more.
Galip Dalay, Beverley Milton Edwards, Aisha Al-Sarihi, Shahram Akbarzadeh, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Ranj Alaaldin, June Park, Oumeyma Chelbi, Abdalftah Hamed Ali
The Assad regime may be projecting an aura of power and authority as regional powers move to bring the Syrian state back into the fold, but many prickly issues remain unresolved between the regime and its neighbors that could still spoil the process of reintegration.
Ranj Alaaldin
The recent outbreak of violence in Sudan has already taken a heavy toll on the country and threatened stability abroad. Middle East Council scholars offer their insights on what’s driving the conflict, the imperative to bring it to a swift end, and its implications for Sudan and beyond.
Nader S. Kabbani, Paul Dyer, Larbi Sadiki, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Sahar Khamis, Ranj Alaaldin, Dania Thafer, Faozi Al-Goidi
The resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran has generated significant optimism that it can lead to de-escalation in the region’s many conflicts. That hope needs to be tempered, as the local actors doing the fighting will have the decisive say in war and peace.
Ranj Alaaldin
Twenty years have passed since the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, leaving the country and the wider region forever changed. In this Council Views, Middle East Council experts reflect on this seminal moment in the region’s modern history and what has ensued in the two decades since. 
Galip Dalay, Omar H. Rahman, Ranj Alaaldin, Faozi Al-Goidi, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Robert P. Beschel Jr., Tarik M. Yousef, Larbi Sadiki
The devastating earthquakes and aftershocks that struck Turkey and Syria have resulted in a massive loss of lives and infrastructure, with many more still injured, homeless, and vulnerable. What are the various aspects of the aftermath and policy implications of this tragedy?
Tarik M. Yousef, Nader S. Kabbani, Ahmet F. Aysan, Larbi Sadiki, Marc Owen Jones, Ranj Alaaldin
Iran-backed militias in Iraq had seen their fortunes wane in recent years. But a new prime minister has paved the way for a bounce back. How will their rivals respond, and could it push Iraq toward civil war?
Ranj Alaaldin
Iraq’s relationship with the Gulf has been tense for two decades, riven by sectarian conflict and a foreign policy closely aligned with Iran. While recent efforts to mend ties have shown promise, can they advance under the new prime minister in Baghdad?
Ranj Alaaldin
ME Council's experts survey the region’s socio-political and economic landscape and offer their outlooks for the year ahead.
Ranj Alaaldin, Nader S. Kabbani, Nejla Ben Mimoune, Galip Dalay, Faozi Al-Goidi, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Omar H. Rahman
With the Islamic Republic engulfed in crisis, Middle East Council experts weigh in on the protests rocking the country, issues of accountability, and what they mean for the wider region.
Omar H. Rahman, Tarik M. Yousef, Ranj Alaaldin, Noha Aboueldahab, Galip Dalay
With less than one week left before the start of the tournament, scheduled for November 20 through December 18, 2022, experts from the Middle East Council on Global Affairs reflect below on the various dimensions of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Tarik M. Yousef, Marc Owen Jones, Ranj Alaaldin, Nejla Ben Mimoune, Faozi Al-Goidi, Beverley Milton Edwards, Adel Abdel Ghafar
IRAQ’S POLITICAL SYSTEM IS nearing irreversible collapse after months of escalatory measures by rival Shi’ite factions have brought the country to the brink of civil war. The trajectory of conflict appears irreversible and would imperil not only the rebuilding of Iraq after years of upheaval but hold implications for stability in the broader region, as… Continue reading Iraq is Moving Toward Civil War
Ranj Alaaldin