David Makovsky

EXCLUSIVE
  • Expert on U.S. Policy in the Middle East
  • Distinguished Fellow and Director, The Washington Institute's Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations
  • Former Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
  • Author and Award-Winning Journalist



David Makovsky is an author and an expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East. A distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Director of the Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations, Makovsky previously served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations. He brings his experience as a senior adviser as well as his keen analysis of the current situation to accessible and engaging talks on the past, present, and future of U.S. policy in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli peace process, shedding light on challenges and opportunities. A long-time adjunct professor of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Advanced International Studies, Makovsky is also an in-demand voice for college audiences for both in-person and virtual events, including a TEDx Talk A Middle East Mount Rushmore, and hosts the Decision Points podcast, an exploration of history and contemporary policy decisions impacting Israel, the U.S., and the Middle East at large. Makovsky co-authored the book Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, which Henry Kissinger called “A powerful statement on the style and principles of leadership that are critical for shaping the Middle East peace process.”

A veteran award-winning journalist, Makovsky previously served as the Executive Editor of the Jerusalem Post, and was the diplomatic correspondent for Ha’aretz, as well as contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report. He was awarded the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence, and his commentary has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and National Interest. Makovsky is a sought-after commentator on Arab-Israeli affairs, and has appeared frequently for decades on PBS NewsHour, Charlie Rose, NPR, CNN, Fox, the BBC, and more. He has testified before the full U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the full U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and on multiple occasions before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee. Makovsky is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

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Rave Reviews About David Makovsky
I want to thank you for serving as our scholar in residence this past weekend. It was a beautiful Shabbat and you were outstanding. Your talks were fascinating, engaging, compelling and very well received by our community. It was also delightful to have the opportunity to connect on a personal level.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted David Makovsky
  • New York Jewish Federation
  • Chicago Jewish United Fund
  • Jewish Funders Network
  • Council of Foreign Relations
  • Dallas World Affairs Council
  • Beth Jacob Congregation
  • Jewish Federations of North America
  • Jewish Federation of Ventura County, CA
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Naples
  • Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, CA
Keynote - Book Release Event: "Be Strong and of Good Courage" | The Washington Institute [1:32:26] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Talks By David Makovsky
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The Iran Nuclear Crisis

David Makovsky is an expert, author, and veteran award-winning journalist on U.S. policy in the Middle East, who draws on his work at The Washington Institute and as a former senior advisor to the Secretary of State to answer today’s most pressing questions about the Iran nuclear crisis and whether ...

David Makovsky is an expert, author, and veteran award-winning journalist on U.S. policy in the Middle East, who draws on his work at The Washington Institute and as a former senior advisor to the Secretary of State to answer today’s most pressing questions about the Iran nuclear crisis and whether the U.S. and Israel are on the same page.

The Trajectory of the Abraham Accords

David Makovsky brings his experience as a senior adviser to the Secretary of State as well as his keen analysis of the situation to the current status of the Abraham Accords, and what lies ahead for the Biden Administration and the Middle East. Based on personal encounters in Washington, Israel, and ...

David Makovsky brings his experience as a senior adviser to the Secretary of State as well as his keen analysis of the situation to the current status of the Abraham Accords, and what lies ahead for the Biden Administration and the Middle East. Based on personal encounters in Washington, Israel, and the Persian Gulf, Makovsky shares an unrivaled perspective to this vital conversation.

The Biden Administration and the Mideast: A 2022 Assessment from a Washington Insider

An expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and former senior advisor to the Secretary of State, David Makovsky offers unparalleled insights about the challenges and opportunities facing the Biden Administration in the coming years. Makovsky leverages his role as a Washington insider with powerful c ...

An expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and former senior advisor to the Secretary of State, David Makovsky offers unparalleled insights about the challenges and opportunities facing the Biden Administration in the coming years. Makovsky leverages his role as a Washington insider with powerful connections in the region to shed light on the complexities in this accessible talk.

Israel’s Greatest Leadership Decisions: A Historical Look

David Makovsky is an expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and co-author of Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, which Henry Kissinger called “A powerful statement on the style and principles of leadership that are critical for shaping the Middle ...

David Makovsky is an expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and co-author of Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, which Henry Kissinger called “A powerful statement on the style and principles of leadership that are critical for shaping the Middle East peace process.” Makovsky is an authority on this topic, drawing insights from the past that impact today’s political climate.

The Bennett Government: Where is it going?

An expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and former senior advisor to the Secretary of State, David Makovsky offers a key perspective on Israel’s Bennett Government, bringing a breadth of understanding about the past, policies, and possibilities for this latest chapter in Israel’s history. What a ...

An expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East and former senior advisor to the Secretary of State, David Makovsky offers a key perspective on Israel’s Bennett Government, bringing a breadth of understanding about the past, policies, and possibilities for this latest chapter in Israel’s history. What are the specific plans to bring Israel and Diaspora Communities closer despite polarization in both countries?

Israel v. BDS in the American Universities

Expert, author, and veteran award-winning journalist on U.S. policy in the Middle East David Makovsky has visited more than 150 American campuses in recent years, and offers unprecedented insight into the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS). Makovsky outlines his perspective on the vit ...

Expert, author, and veteran award-winning journalist on U.S. policy in the Middle East David Makovsky has visited more than 150 American campuses in recent years, and offers unprecedented insight into the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS). Makovsky outlines his perspective on the vital questions and possible strategies in this key arena.

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Biography

David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In 2013-2014, he worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of State, serving as a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

Author of numerous Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process and the Arab-Israeli conflict, he is also coauthor, with Dennis Ross, of the 2009 Washington Post bestseller Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking/Penguin). His 2011 maps on alternative territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were reprinted by the New York Times in the paper's first interactive treatment of an op-ed. His widely acclaimed September 2012 New Yorker essay, "The Silent Strike," focused on the U.S.-Israel dynamics leading up to the 2007 Israeli attack on Syrian nuclear facilities.

Mr. Makovsky is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. His commentary on the peace process and the Arab-Israeli conflict has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and National Interest. He appears frequently in the media to comment on Arab-Israeli affairs, including PBS NewsHour.

He has testified before the full U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the full U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and on multiple occasions before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee.

In last several years, he has made over 120 visits to American college campuses to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has done a TEDx talk on this issue for the college audience.

Before joining The Washington Institute, Mr. Makovsky was an award-winning journalist who covered the peace process from 1989 to 2000. He is the former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, was diplomatic correspondent for Israel's leading daily, Haaretz, and is a former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report. He served for eleven years as that magazine's special Jerusalem correspondent. He was awarded the National Press Club's 1994 Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence for a cover story on PLO finances that he cowrote for the magazine.

In July 1994, as a result of personal intervention by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Mr. Makovsky became the first journalist writing for an Israeli publication to visit Damascus. In total, he has made five trips to Syria, the most recent in December 1999 when he accompanied then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In March 1995, with assistance from U.S. officials, Mr. Makovsky was given unprecedented permission to file reports from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for an Israeli publication.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Makovsky received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master's degree in Middle East studies from Harvard University.