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James Zogby
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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

A Special Letter to the President From Members of the Democratic National Committee

(287) Comments | Posted August 29, 2015 | 7:25 PM

MINNEAPOLIS -- At our just-completed summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee, we circulated a "Special Letter to the President" wherein we asked our DNC colleagues to sign the letter supporting President Barack Obama's leadership in negotiating an agreement that would place strict limits on Iran's nuclear program.

7...

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"You Stink"

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2015 | 8:03 AM

It was a stroke of genius that Lebanon's young protesters named their movement "You Stink". In just two words, they captured both the essence of their country's immediate crisis over uncollected garbage and its longer-term structural problems.

For months now, trash has been piling up in Lebanon's cities while the...

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Thank You Julian Bond

(8) Comments | Posted August 22, 2015 | 9:03 AM

When Julian Bond died last week, every major news outlet featured tributes praising his more than five decades of leadership in the struggle for civil rights. He was all the things that were said about him. He was courageous and visionary, a steady hand and a thoughtful strategist, and a...

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An Open Letter to: Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Loretta Lynch

(725) Comments | Posted August 15, 2015 | 9:22 AM

No American citizen should be subjected to the treatment that George Khoury and Habib Joudeh received when they arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel last month.

George is a 70 year old Palestinian American from San Francisco. Habib, 62, from Brooklyn, is also an American citizen...

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Finding a Way Forward for Syria

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 9:46 AM

A flurry of recent bilateral and multilateral discussions involving Americans, Russians, Saudis, and others have provoked speculation that there may be a renewed push for negotiations to end the conflict in Syria. I can only hope the speculation is not mere wishful thinking, because it should have been clear from...

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The GOP: Reaping What It Sowed

(1518) Comments | Posted August 1, 2015 | 8:25 AM

The 2016 Republican presidential contest has barely begun and it has already grown alternately tiresome and old or just downright scary. As a Democrat, I might be pleased, but as an American, I am deeply troubled. I just want it to end.

A part of the GOP problem is the...

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CVE in the US: More Harm Than Good

(17) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 5:28 PM

Congress is currently considering legislation that would create a whole new bureaucracy within the Department of Homeland Security to deal with "countering violent extremism" (CVE). According to the proposed bill, DHS will be required to reallocate funds for a new office with expanded powers to coordinate CVE efforts. Because the...

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A U.S.-Iran Realignment Is Not in the Cards

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2015 | 10:30 AM

With the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran, some are panicking in despair, while others have visions of a dramatically realigned Middle East. Both views are overreactions, since the deal itself is quite limited in scope, and the impact of 35 years...

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Deal or No Deal

(16) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 9:15 PM

Here in Washington and across the Middle East, many are holding their breath awaiting news of the outcome of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran: some, in hopeful anticipation; others with a sense of dread. The reality, however, is that whether or not an agreement is reached on Iran's nuclear program...

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Oren's Orgy of Self-Justification

(332) Comments | Posted July 4, 2015 | 9:06 AM

In his new book, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, relates how late one night he received a frantic call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alerting him to the fact that the Palestinians were preparing to petition the United Nations to...

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Shedding Imperial Conceit

(26) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 3:56 PM

In the summer of 1971, I spent some time in London on my way to Lebanon where I was to begin my dissertation research. I had left the United States consumed with our long war in Vietnam. Out of my American bubble, I was soon to discover a world in...

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Racism and Gun Violence Are Killing Us, Literally

(21) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 8:57 AM

This week, Americans were shocked by another horrific act of mass murder. In Charleston, South Carolina, a young white man, infected by race hate, walked into the historic Emanuel AME Church, sat for an hour with their evening bible study group, and then took out a gun and murdered nine...

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BDS: A Legitimate and Moral Response to Israeli Policy

(617) Comments | Posted June 13, 2015 | 8:56 AM

The Israeli government response to the "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions" (BDS) movement has been predictable. Being incapable of engaging in any reasonable form of self-criticism or even self-reflection, Israeli leaders have, instead, turned their wrath on their accusers and their victims.

In recent years, several entities have implemented boycotts...

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A Smart New Washington Project

(2) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 7:51 AM

I was asked by the Atlantic Council to appear at the launch of their "Middle East Strategy Task Force" (MEST) to present a report on how Arab public opinion views the challenges facing their region as well as their assessment of the role the United States can play...

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GCC Business Leaders Remain Confident in the Face of Regional Challenges

(1) Comments | Posted May 30, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Despite a precipitous decline in oil revenues, continuing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and concern with Iran's agenda, business leaders in key Arab Gulf countries remain quite confident about economic prospects for their region.

This is one of the findings from a recent...

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Who's to Blame for the Mess in Iraq?

(668) Comments | Posted May 23, 2015 | 10:19 AM

Despite the prolonged U.S.-led coalition bombing campaign, the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) recently won victories in Iraq expanding the area under its control. In the wake of these advances, fingers of blame have been pointing in every direction. Democrats continue to blame President Bush for beginning the war, in the...

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New York Times Ignores Dangerous Consequences of Pro-Israel Amendment to TPA

(171) Comments | Posted May 16, 2015 | 7:56 AM

The New York Times' coverage of Congressional antics related to the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation has ignored so many critical aspects of the bill that it might be time for the "paper of record" to change its motto from "All the news that's fit to print" to "All the...

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An Initiative Worth Supporting

(15) Comments | Posted May 9, 2015 | 9:25 AM

I have written before about some of my Palestinian American heroes, including men like Ibrahim Abu-Lughod and Zahi Khouri. I want to add to that list, my friend, Sam Bahour.

Two and a half decades ago, Ibrahim was a respected tenured professor at Northwestern University, and Zahi was Chairman of...

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A Night to Remember

(3) Comments | Posted May 2, 2015 | 8:42 AM

Our annual Khalil Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" Awards Dinner serves as a reminder of why we do the work we do. It speaks to us of the goals we've set for ourselves, the progress we've made, and the challenges we continue to face.

Thirty years ago, when...

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Acknowledging the Past

(24) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 9:21 AM

I expected that I would be attacked for my column on the Armenian Genocide. Criticism can be good and, if constructive, can provide a springboard to discussion. Unfortunately, some of the letters I received from Turkish groups were anything but constructive. They were overly defensive, and, at times,...

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