Founded in 1946, the Middle East Institute is the oldest Washington-based institution dedicated solely to the study of the Middle East. Its founders, scholar George Camp Keiser and former U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter, laid out a simple mandate: “to increase knowledge of the Middle East among the citizens of the United States and to promote a better understanding between the people of these two areas.”
MEI has earned a reputation as an unbiased source of information and analysis on this critical region of the world, a reputation it has meticulously safeguarded since its creation. Today, MEI remains a respected, non-partisan voice in the field of Middle East studies.
MEI’s programs focus on policy and research, education, and arts and culture. MEI regularly hosts leading experts and officials, including authentic voices from the region, at its conferences and weekly programs in Washington, which are free and open to the public. These events attract leaders from the policy, corporate, and diplomatic communities. MEI’s policy institute includes a Center for Turkish Studies, a Center for Pakistan Studies, the Middle East-Asia Project (MAP), an Iran initiative, and the Initiative for Track II Dialogues, which convenes regional and international leaders to find solutions to the region’s most challenging issues.
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