Sarhang Hamasaeed is the director of Middle East Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). He joined USIP in February 2011 and works on program management, organizational development, and monitoring and evaluation. His areas of focus include political and policy analysis, conflict analysis, dialogue processes, reconciliation and post-conflict stabilization, and ethnic and religious minorities. He writes, gives media interviews to international media, and is featured on events and briefings on Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East. He provided analysis to NPR, Voice of America, Al-Jazeera America, Fox News Al-Hurra TV, Radio Sawa, Kurdistan TV, Kurdsat TV, Rudaw, Al-Iraqiya TV, NRT TV, Skynews Arabia, the Washington Times, PBS, and CCTV. He is a member on the Task Force on the Future of Iraq, and was member of the Rebuilding Societies Working Group under the Middle East Strategy Taskforce, both initiatives by the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He regularly gives a lecture at the Foreign Service Institute on ISIL and Challenges to Governance in Iraq.

Hamasaeed has more than 15 years of strategy, management, and monitoring and evaluation experience in governmental, nongovernmental, private sector, and media organizations.

As a deputy director general at the Council of Ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (2008-2009), Hamasaeed managed strategic government modernization initiatives through information technology with the goal of helping improve governance and service delivery. As a program manager for the Research Triangle Institute International (2003-2004), he managed civic engagement and local democratic governance programs in Iraq. Hamasaeed has worked as a planning and relations manager at Kurdistan Save the Children (1997-2002). Hamasaeed has also worked for the Los Angeles Times and other international media organizations.

He holds a Master’s degree in International Development Policy from Duke University (2007) and is a Fulbright alumnus.

Publications By Sarhang

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

Sunday, February 11, 2018

By: USIP Staff; Nancy Lindborg; Sarhang Hamasaeed

An international conference opens in Kuwait Monday to plan ways to rebuild Iraq and secure it against renewed extremist violence following the three-year war against ISIS. A USIP team just spent nine days in Iraq for talks with government and civil society leaders, part of the Institute’s years-long effort to help the country stabilize. The Kuwait conference will gather government, business and civil society leaders to consider a reconstruction that Iraq has said could cost $100 billion. USIP’s president, Nancy Lindborg, and Middle East program director, Sarhang Hamasaeed, say any realistic rebuilding plan must focus also on the divisions and grievances in Iraq that led to ISIS’ violence and that still exist.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism

 Sarhang Hamasaeed Discusses Recent Events in Kirkuk

Sarhang Hamasaeed Discusses Recent Events in Kirkuk

Friday, October 20, 2017

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Sarhang Hamasaeed reviews a tense week in which the Iraqi Army and Kurdish forces clashed in the disputed area of Kirkuk. With ISIS driven out of Kirkuk, renewed tensions dating back to 2014 have re-emerged between the Iraqi Army and Popular Mobilization Forces  Hamasaeed tells us why a political dialogue process is central to protecting minorities, and avoiding Shia and Sunni clashes.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Iraq Faces New Tests After Hawija Offensive, Part 2

Iraq Faces New Tests After Hawija Offensive, Part 2

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed; Osama Gharizi

The military offensive to uproot ISIS from the northern Iraqi city of Hawija, entering a new phase this week, is aimed at clearing out an estimated 1,000-2,000 insurgents from what is one of the extremist group’s last Iraqi strongholds. The next battle will be the layers of ethnic, religious and sectarian tension that will complicate any recovery.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism

Sarhang Hamasaeed on the Kurdish Referendum

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Sarhang Hamasaeed tells us why the results of the non-binding Kurdistan independence referendum matter, and explains the need to prevent an escalation of tensions that could lead to violence with Shia...

View All