Claire Spencer
United Kingdom
Head of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme at the foreign policy institute Chatham House.

She was previously Deputy Director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College, where she set up and ran the Mediterranean Security Programme, and Head of Policy for the Middle East and Central Asia for the development agency Christian Aid. Since 2011, she has acted as external advisor to the British Council’s Young Arab Analysts Network International (YAANI), engaging young North Africans, Egyptians and Jordanians in analyzing and formulating local policy. Educated at Bristol University (BSc Politics) and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Ph.D), Claire’s core research interest is in EU policy towards North Africa and the Mediterranean, on which she is currently writing a report proposing a radical rethink. Having lived in France during protests, Morocco during a monarchical succession, Israel at a time of war and Spain a decade into its democratic transition, a highlight of 2011 was being invited to Chile to explain the significance of social movements in the Arab world just as half a million Chilean students took to the streets. In addition to hosting and participating in debates ranging from jihadism to secularism, Claire’s recent publications and commentary include Combatting Terror Across the Sahel; After the Spring: Prospects for the Arab World in 2013; The Changing Role of Civil Society in the Euro-Mediterranean Area, Time to Build Bridges over the Mediterranean and (forthcoming) The Changing Dynamics of West-GCC Cooperation.