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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

Iraq: Islamic Militants, Breakup and Other Tough Questions on Twitter

Iraq: Islamic Militants, Breakup and Other Tough Questions on Twitter

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

By: Steven Ruder; Elie Abouaoun, DDS, GCM; Khitam Al-Khaykanee; Manal Omar; Raya Barazanji; Sarhang Hamasaeed

Will Iraq’s current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki defy efforts to replace him? Will it break apart into several separate states? Should its neighbors do more to challenge the militants rampaging across the border with Syria? And are we giving this group legitimacy by acceeding every time their leaders change the organization's name -- "Islamic State" or their earlier moniker, "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria"?

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Twitter Chat: How Will Iraq Confront Militant Group Sweeping in from Syria?

Twitter Chat: How Will Iraq Confront Militant Group Sweeping in from Syria?

Friday, June 13, 2014

By: Steven Ruder; Khitam Al-Khaykanee; Raya Barazanji; Sarhang Hamasaeed

Anti-government Sunni militants have swept across western and northern Iraq over the past week, gaining control of the cities of Mosul and Tikrit. Operating mainly under the banner of the State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or also known as ISIS), in many places they seemed to have faced little to no resistance from the official Iraqi army, who, according to reports, laid down their arms and melted into the countryside. As they neared Baghdad, Kurdish paramilitary pesh merga fighters took con...

Iraqi Minorities Experience May Show Way for Building Stability

Iraqi Minorities Experience May Show Way for Building Stability

Monday, December 2, 2013

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

The heavy rains that flooded several Iraqi provinces in the past two weeks triggered widespread public criticism, including some demonstrations. It was a reminder that, especially as the country struggles with high levels of violence, frustration remains high over the generally poor quality of services and other governance challenges. Iraq’s minorities offer a good example of how engaged civil society can address such frustrations before they become an added source of instability.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Religion

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