President of Foreign Reports
Nat Kern is the current President of Foreign Reports. He has been with the firm since 1972, becoming Vice President in 1975, and President in 1990.
Kern received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 1972. During his undergraduate studies, he also attended the University of Riyadh from 1970 until 1971, becoming the first non-Arab student to study in Saudi Arabia.
Besides directing and writing the firm’s reports, he also has managerial responsibility for the firm’s other senior professionals. He has a variety of hands-on experience in the region and has traveled widely throughout it. He is an acknowledged expert on Middle East oil affairs, with a particular emphasis on the Gulf.
Kern was a frequent visitor to Iraq during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, at a time when U.S.-Iraqi relations were improving. He was tasked by the U.S. government with maintaining ties with certain key Iraqi officials from 1991 onwards, at a time when the U.S. maintained a policy of shunning any official contact with the Iraqi government. Kern continues to write extensively on various Iraqi political developments and the status of Iraq’s oil industry.
Kern also has special ties to Saudi Arabia, working for a few decades on various issues facing the U.S.-Saudi relationship. He has organized a series of senior-level U.S. delegations to Saudi Arabia in the past ten years. Beginning in 1997, he worked closely with the government of Saudi Arabia in laying the groundwork for the Saudi Gas Initiative aimed at opening Saudi Arabia’s hydrocarbon resources to foreign investment. He also worked with the U.S. companies participating in the subsequent proposals on developing major gas projects.