The Arab uprisings of 2010-2011, in which people across the Middle East filled the streets demanding political and economic reform, initially inspired hope that the region was finally undergoing democratic revolutions similar to those that had swept through Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
By the end of 2011, four long-time Arab rulers had been ousted, and countries across the region were holding elections and trying to write new constitutions. But these democratic transitions began to falter as traditional elites reasserted control and countries less affected by the uprisings increased repression to prevent threats to their hold on power. Several states collapsed into civil war, giving rise to terrorist groups and leading stronger states to intervene to advance their interests and counter adversaries.
Middle East watchers now debate whether the impulses that gave rise to the Arab Spring still exist. However, there's no question that the uprisings have left the region profoundly changed.
Our April speaker will discuss the key trends set in motion by the uprisings, how they have changed the Middle East, and what they might tell us about the region's future.
Alan Pino retired in April 2020 after nearly 40 years at the Central Intelligence Agency covering Middle East issues. For the last 15 years, he served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East at the National Intelligence Council (NIC). He spent five years as chief of CIA's Arab-Israeli Issues Group. During much of the 1990's he served as a manager in the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, including as Chief of the Center's Analysis. Earlier, Mr. Pino worked as an analyst and manager covering various Middle Eastern Countries, including Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
Mr. Pino was a recipient of the Director’s Award from CIA Director George Tenet and the George H. W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism. He holds a masters degree in government and foreign affairs from U Va.
6:00 Cocktails 6:45 Dinner 7:45 Address and Discussion
Save The Date - Thursday, May 11th
Tim Persons, Former Chief Scientist of the Government Accountability Office
"The Weaponization of U.S. Ingenuity:
Authoritarian Regimes and the Quest for 21st Century Technological Hegemony"