Amy W. Hawthorne


Part-time Faculty


Office Phone: 202-423-4269

Amy Hawthorne is the Deputy Director for Research at the Project on Middle East Democracy in Washington, DC. She is a Middle East expert with many years of policy, analytical, and practical experience on Middle East policy, Arab politics, democracy promotion, and human rights.

Prior to joining POMED in October 2015, Amy served as a Resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, where she focused on U.S. policy toward Egypt and Tunisia. Before joining the Atlantic Council in April 2013, Amy was an appointee at the U.S. Department of State for two years, where she helped to coordinate U.S. support for Egypt’s transition and advised on the U.S. response to the Arab Spring. Amy previously served as founding executive director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, an NGO operating in Washington and Istanbul that promotes mutual understanding between the United States and predominantly Muslim countries.

She was also an Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she was the Founding Editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin (now called Sada). At the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Hawthorne was Senior Program Officer for the Middle East, managing democracy and governance programs across the Arab world.

Amy graduated with honors in history from Yale University, with a focus on the Middle East, and obtained her MA in modern Middle Eastern studies at the University of Michigan, where she concentrated on Islamic law. She has advanced skills in Arabic and has lived and traveled extensively throughout the Arab world (especially Egypt, including as a Fulbright Scholar) as well as Turkey.

She has provided commentary to media outlets including NPR, BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Reuters, Politico, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Her writing on Middle East affairs and U.S. policy has been published by outlets such as Foreign AffairsForeign Policy, and the Hill. She has testified several times before the U.S. Congress on U.S. policy in the Middle East. Amy currently serves as the chair of the bipartisan Working Group on Egypt.

Autocracy and Democracy in the Arab World, Spring 2023, ESIA.