Articles > Featured > Symposium Reviews The Gulf Cooperation Council as it Turns 31 (Part 1)
Symposium Reviews The Gulf Cooperation Council as it Turns 31 (Part 1)
Published: May 28, 2012
Dr. John Duke Anthony is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and currently serves on the United States Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and its subcommittees on Sanctions and Trade and Investment. For the past 38 years, he has been a consultant and regular lecturer on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf for the Departments of Defense and State. He is former Chair, Near East and North Africa Program, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State as well as former Chair of the Department’s Advanced Arabian Peninsula Studies Seminar. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1986, Dr. Anthony has been a frequent participant in its study groups on issues relating to the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf regions and the broader Arab and Islamic world. Most recently, Dr. Anthony has been elected to the Board of Advisors of the Yemen College for Middle Eastern Studies.
In addition to heading the National Council, consulting, lecturing, and serving as an Adjunct Faculty Member of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management (DISAM) since 1974, Dr. Anthony has been an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies since 2006. There, he developed a course for graduate students on “Politics of the Arabian Peninsula,” the first such semester-long academic course to be offered at any American university. In 2007, he was Visiting Lecturer at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. In 2008 he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin ‘Abdalaziz Al-Sa’ud Center for American Studies.
In 1983, Dr. Anthony received DISAM’s Distinguished Achievement Award, one of three granted to American Middle East specialists in the Institute’s history. In March 1989, the Kappa Alpha Order’s National Executive bestowed upon him its Distinguished Public Service Award for Excellence “through a strenuous and useful Life of Service to others.” In 1993, he received the U.S. Department of State’s Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Award, one of three awarded over a span of 25 years in recognition of his preparation of American diplomatic and defense personnel assigned to the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf states. In 1994, he received the Stevens Award for Outstanding Contributions to American-Arab Understanding. On June 21, 2000, H.M. King Muhammad VI of Morocco knighted Dr. Anthony, bestowing upon him the Medal of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, the nation of Morocco’s highest award for excellence. In May 2008, he was presented the first-ever Local Giants Leadership Award by the Rotary Club of the Nation’s Capital.
Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1969-1970). In 1971, he was cosponsored by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State as the sole American scholar to observe at firsthand the process by which the British ceased administering the defense and foreign relations for nine Arab states lining the coastal regions of eastern Arabia and the Gulf. His long experience in Yemen led to Dr. Anthony being asked to serve as an international observer in all four of Yemen’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been invited to each of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Ministerial and Heads of State Summits since the GCC’s inception in 1981. (The GCC is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Since 1986 and continuing until the present, Dr. Anthony has accompanied more than 200 Members of Congress, their chiefs of staff, defense and foreign affairs advisers, and legislative and communications directors on fact-finding missions to the Arab world. From 1996 until the present, he has also served as the principal scholar-escort for delegations to various GCC countries, Egypt, and Yemen comprised of 132 officers assigned to the staff of the Commander, U.S. Central Command, including Generals J.H. B. Peay III, Anthony C. Zinni, Tommy Franks, John P. Abizaid, Admiral William Fallon, and General David Petraeus.
Dr. Anthony is the author of three books, the editor of a fourth, and has published more than 175 articles, essays, and monographs dealing with America’s interests and involvement in the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world. His best-known works are Arab States of the Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum; The Middle East: Oil, Politics, and Development (editor and co-author) and, together with J.E. Peterson, Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates of Eastern Arabia. His most recent book, The United Arab Emirates: Dynamics of State Formation, was published in 2002.
In addition to being the founder of the Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, now in its 20th year, Dr. Anthony has been a founder, board member, and Secretary of the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee; founding President of the Middle East Educational Trust; co-founder of the Commission on Israeli-Palestinian Peace; founding President of the Society for Gulf Arab Studies; co-founder and board member of the National Commission to Commemorate the 14th Centennial of Islam; and founder and former chairman of the U.S.-Morocco Affairs Council. In 2006 he was elected Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C.
After the completion of his U.S. Army active duty military service, the Commonwealth of Virginia granted Dr. Anthony a four year State Cadetship Award which allowed him to enroll at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in History. At VMI, he was elected president of his class all four years in addition to serving as president of the Corps of Cadets’ General and Executive Committees during his First Class Year. He later earned a Master of Science Degree in Foreign Service (With Distinction) from the Edmund A. Walsh Graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where, in addition to holding one of three University Scholar Awards, he was inducted into the National Political Science Honor Society. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., where he held a National Defense in Foreign Language Scholarship for Arabic, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, and was appointed to the full time faculty in 1973 while still a student. For nearly a decade, Dr. Anthony taught courses on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf States at SAIS. He has been a Visiting and Adjunct Professor at the Defense Intelligence College, the Woodrow Wilson School of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and a regular lecturer at the National War College.
Dr. Anthony is married to Cynthia Burns McDonald, Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of the American University in Cairo, and has twin sons.
Ms. Molly K. Williamson
Ms. Molly Williamson speaks extensively on US foreign policy, the interagency process, energy, economics and demographic factors affecting policy formulation, and U.S.-Middle East relations, especially the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran, and nuclear challenges. Ms. Williamson is a scholar with the Middle East Institute, a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, a consultant and lecturer at Johns Hopkins University Osher Institute. She is a former Foreign Service Officer, having served six presidents and achieved the rank of Career Minister. She is also a member of Georgetown University’s MSFS oral boards, a board member of the American Foreign Service Association, and board member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.
From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Williamson was the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, with global responsibilities at the nexus of foreign policy and energy policy. Prior to that assignment, Ms. Williamson served as U.S. Charge’ d’Affaires in Bahrain. She was also assigned to special projects regarding Israel/Palestine, Iraq and the United Nations.
From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Williamson was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce responsible for advancing trade relations with eighty-six countries in the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania, and Africa with a trade portfolio valued at over $120 billion/year. Prior to that assignment, she was Principal Deputy, then Acting Assistant Secretary of State, International Organizations Bureau, responsible for the policy and programs affecting UN political and Security Council matters, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations. From 1993 to 1995, Ms. Williamson was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense responsible for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. She was engaged in operational defense structure bottom-up reviews, and the policy challenges of Iraqi provocations, crises in Rwanda and Somalia, and nuclear tests in South Asia.
Ms. Williamson has had numerous postings in the Middle East, including Chief of Mission and Consul General in Jerusalem during the Madrid Peace Process (1991-1993), which culminated in the Oslo Accords.
Ms. Williamson, a native of California, has been awarded two Presidential Service Awards, the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award and fourteen awards from the Department of State. She has studied both Hebrew and Arabic.