Bilal Y. Saab is a Research Associate with Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit (CRU), specializing in the Levant and the Gulf. He studies security cooperation between the United States and its regional partners, and national security and defense processes in Arab partner countries.
Saab is currently Director of the Defense and Security Program at the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington, D.C. Prior to this, Saab served as Senior Advisor for Security Cooperation in the Pentagon’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
Saab is a term member (2016-2021) with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a recipient of the International Affairs Fellowship (2018-2019) with CFR. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. He has held jobs at Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and the Atlantic Council.
Saab has fluency in both written and spoken Arabic and French, and experience living in the Middle East for more than two decades. He published in the print editions of The Washington Quarterly, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, American Interest, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. Saab is often called upon to brief various parts of the U.S. and other governments. He also provides commentary to international media outlets including Reuters, Washington Post and New York Times.
Saab has a BA from the American University of Beirut, and MLitt. from the University of St Andrews and an MA from the University of Maryland, College Park.