iOS app Android app

James Zogby
GET UPDATES FROM James Zogby
Dr. James J. Zogby is the author of Arab Voices (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2010) and the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. Since 1985, Dr. Zogby and AAI have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the U.S. Through voter registration, education and mobilization, AAI has moved Arab Americans into the political mainstream.

For the past three decades, Dr. Zogby has been involved in a full range of Arab American issues. A co-founder and chairman of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in the late 1970s, he later co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In 1982, he co-founded Save Lebanon, Inc., a private non-profit, humanitarian and non-sectarian relief organization which funds health care for Palestinian and Lebanese victims of war, and other social welfare projects in Lebanon. In 1985, Zogby founded AAI.

In 1993, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord in Washington, he was asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders for Peace, a private sector committee to promote U.S. business investment in the West Bank and Gaza. In his capacity as co-president of Builders, Zogby frequently traveled to the Middle East with delegations led by Vice President Gore and late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. In 1994, with former U.S. Congressman Mel Levine, his colleague as co-president of Builders, Zogby led a U.S. delegation to the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement in Cairo. Zogby also chaired a forum on the Palestinian economy at the Casablanca Economic Summit in 1994. After 1994, through Builders, Zogby worked with a number of US agencies to promote and support Palestinian economic development, including AID, OPIC, USTDA, and the Departments of State and Commerce.

Dr. Zogby has also been personally active in U.S. politics for many years. Most recently, Zogby was elected a co-convener of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee (NDECC), an umbrella organization of Democratic Party leaders of European and Mediterranean descent. On September 24, 1999, the NDECC elected Dr. James Zogby as its representative to the Democratic National Committee's Executive Committee. In 2005 he was appointed as chair of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee.

A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues, U.S.-Arab relations, and the history of the Arab American community, Dr. Zogby appears frequently on television and radio. He has appeared as a regular guest on all the major network news programs. After hosting the popular "A Capital View" on the Arab Network of America for several years, he now hosts "Viewpoint with James Zogby" on Abu Dhabi Television, LinkTV, Dish Network, and DirecTV.

Since 1992, Dr. Zogby has also written a weekly column on U.S. politics for the major newspapers of the Arab world. The column, Washington Watch, is currently published in 14 Arab countries. He has authored a number of books including two recent publications, "What Ethnic Americans Really Think" and "What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns."

Dr. Zogby has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees, has been guest speaker on a number of occasions in the Secretary's Open Forum at the U.S. Department of State, and has addressed the United Nations and other international forums. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of State "in recognition of outstanding contributions to national and international affairs."

Dr. Zogby is also active professionally beyond his involvement with the Arab American community. He currently serves on the national advisory boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Forum, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he is a Senior Analyst for the polling firm Zogby International.

In 1975, Dr. Zogby received his doctorate from Temple University's Department of Religion, where he studied under the Islamic scholar Dr. Ismail al-Faruqi. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University in 1976, and on several occasions was awarded grants for research and writing by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Defense Education Act, and the Mellon Foundation. Dr. Zogby received a Bachelor of Arts from Le Moyne College. In 1995, Le Moyne awarded Zogby an honorary doctoral of laws degree, and in 1997 named him the college's outstanding alumnus.

Dr. Zogby is married to Eileen Patricia McMahon and is the father of five children.

You can follow Dr. Zogby on twitter at: www.twitter.com/AAIUSA

Entries by James Zogby

Boehner/Netanyahu: 'So Smart, They're Stupid'

(708) Comments | Posted January 24, 2015 | 6:27 AM

When I was growing up, I remember a saying that was used to describe the behavior of persons who were so cocky that they did really dumb things -- "He's so smart, he's stupid."

I thought of this expression when I heard Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner,...

Read Post

Were the Murders at Charlie Hebdo Really About Islam?

(42) Comments | Posted January 17, 2015 | 8:33 AM

The perpetrators of the horror at Charlie Hebdo were not devout Muslims outraged by insults directed at their faith. They were not motivated by religious piety, nor did they seek to strike a blow at "freedom of expression". Rather they were crude political actors who planned an act of terror--seeking...

Read Post

Syria: The Way Forward, Without Illusions

(12) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 9:35 AM

It should be clear after four bloody years in Syria that if we are to make any progress moving forward, it is necessary to shed illusions and fantasies that have shaped too much of the discussion about the conflict.

From the beginning, it was inevitable that this conflict, however it...

Read Post

A Bad End to a Bad Year

(3) Comments | Posted January 3, 2015 | 9:42 AM

The closing weeks of 2014 spelled disaster for US leadership and the rule of law.

During the last two weeks of December, the US countered three different efforts designed to affirm Palestinian rights. It was unfortunate since in doing so the US undercut its stated commitments to uphold the rule...

Read Post

The Silent Cry of Bethlehem

(40) Comments | Posted December 27, 2014 | 8:06 AM

Bethlehem has always loomed large in our imagination. For generations, the feelings evoked by this town have been captured in multiple art forms, serving to inspire both believers and non-believers with its message of hope and the joyful promise of new life.

For those who do not know the place,...

Read Post

The Unraveling of the Arab Spring Narrative

(15) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 9:02 AM

Four years ago, Tunisia and the Egypt erupted in broad popular revolts. At first, analysts, Arab and Westerners alike, were confounded. When Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria followed, in short order, the upheavals came to be described as the "Arab Spring" -- the assumption being that what was occurring in...

Read Post

Eric Holder: Profiling Continues

(15) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 8:38 AM

I first met Eric Holder during the Clinton years when he was serving as Deputy Attorney General. Back then, my community was deeply troubled by FBI harassment, the government's use of "secret evidence" to detain individuals, and profiling of Muslim or Arab-looking individuals at airports around the country.

Working with...

Read Post

'Protect and Serve' or 'In Your Face'

(21) Comments | Posted December 6, 2014 | 8:24 AM

In 1971, I was working at a Boy's Club in the Germantown section of Philadelphia running an after-school program. One day, the Police Athletic League representative dropped off a pile of coloring books for the younger kids. On the cover was a picture of a policeman walking hand-in-hand with a...

Read Post

The Arab and Iranian Disconnect

(50) Comments | Posted November 29, 2014 | 8:07 AM

There is widespread upset in capitals across the Arab World at having been sidelined by the Obama Administration in the on-going P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Many are suspicious of U.S. intentions and worried that their concerns with Iran's regional role will be given short shrift in the effort to reach...

Read Post

Arab Americans: Confident and Concerned

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Over the many years I have been involved working within the Arab American community, I have had to contend with a range of myths and misunderstandings about both the nature and composition of the community as well as their attitudes toward major issues of concern facing the United States.

...
Read Post

Arab Americans Getting Ready for 2016

(20) Comments | Posted November 15, 2014 | 8:27 AM

Next week, Arab American leaders and activists from a dozen key electoral states will convene in Washington to map out a political strategy for 2016. Despite the very real challenges facing the leaders who will gather, this generation of Arab Americans can approach the future with some confidence given the...

Read Post

A 2014 Postmortem

(36) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 7:50 AM

A few observations about this week's elections:

1. Our politics continue to be distorted and corrupted.

In October, 1994, I was in the lounge at Kennedy Airport in New York City waiting to board an Egypt Air flight to Cairo. My fellow passengers, mostly Egyptians, were seated near a television...

Read Post

More to the US-Israel Spat Than Meets the Eye

(554) Comments | Posted November 1, 2014 | 9:07 AM

In case you haven't noticed, the Obama Administration is in the midst of an on-going and very public spat with the Netanyahu government in Israel. The "tit for tat" exchanges have been noted in the press, with reporters and some analysts providing banal motives for the acrimony. Some have suggested...

Read Post

My Mother, My Values, My Vote

(65) Comments | Posted October 25, 2014 | 7:54 AM

Back in 1996, my mother was interviewed on Good Morning America. They were doing a story on the November election and wanted to know why she, an 89-year-old Catholic woman, was voting for Democrats. In her responses to the GMA reporter, Mom related how her life experiences had shaped her...

Read Post

We Need to Know More, But the 'Experts' Aren't Helping

(46) Comments | Posted October 18, 2014 | 7:22 AM

With the U.S. currently engaged in an air-war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and with voices now calling for deeper engagement in both conflict zones, the American public is being bombarded with commentary and analysis about ISIS, Syria and Iraq, and Muslims. Unfortunately, too much of it is shallow...

Read Post

The Fateful Decision: British House of Commons Votes on Palestine

(81) Comments | Posted October 11, 2014 | 10:54 AM

On Monday, the British House of Commons will vote on a resolution recognizing the "State of Palestine." Passage of the motion will not create a state nor will it end the Israeli occupation. A "yes" vote is, nevertheless, important for several reasons.

Though symbolic, passage will provide a much needed...

Read Post

Netanyahu Fooled the New York Times -- For One Day

(759) Comments | Posted October 4, 2014 | 9:37 AM

Ever the clever one, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was up to his old tricks again this week. On Monday, he addressed a half empty UN General Assembly chamber and then came to Washington for what was reported to be a rather chilly meeting with President Obama.

His United...

Read Post

Lebanon: The Forgotten Front

(23) Comments | Posted September 27, 2014 | 10:39 AM

While the world's attention has been focused on the combined efforts of Arab and U.S. forces attacking "Islamic State" (IS) positions in Iraq and Syria, there is unfolding in Lebanon, a third front in the war against this violent extremist group. This third front has received scant attention. Because Lebanon...

Read Post

A War Worth Fighting, But We're Not There Yet

(9) Comments | Posted September 20, 2014 | 9:36 AM

It appears that we may be going to war against the Islamic State (IS). I use the word "appears" advisedly, because appearances may be deceiving. It's true that we've already bombed almost 200 IS targets. And it's true that the President has declared his intention to "degrade and ultimately destroy"...

Read Post

Ted Cruz: The Dangers of Not Listening

(311) Comments | Posted September 13, 2014 | 9:18 AM

My mother was fond of saying "if you want someone to hear you, you must first listen to them" -- know them, understand the questions they are asking, and be sensitive to their concerns. If you do this, she would say, "you will be able to speak with people and...

Read Post