MWI Fellow, 2017–18

Dr. Jacob Olidort, a Soref Fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is currently on assignment at the US Department of Defense, where he serves as special advisor on Middle East policy at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. There his portfolios include Syria and the Arabian Peninsula. From 2015 to 2016, his work at the Washington Institute covered jihadism, Salafism, and Islamic political movements.  He received his PhD in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University, where his research focused on the intersection of Islamic law, theology, and modern politics. Dr. Olidort’s publications include Inside the Caliphate’s Classroom: Textbooks, Guidance Literature and Indoctrination Methods of the Islamic State (The Washington Institute, 2016) and The Politics of “Quietist” Salafism (Brookings Institution, 2015). He regularly presents on jihadism to the US government, including the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and his commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs, among other outlets. A former Fulbright scholar (UAE), he taught at the Elliott School of International Affairs.