I tell stories that combine history, culture, philosophy, politics & political economy. I am an author, broadcaster, political economist, and for the past ten years, have been the inaugural senior political counsellor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the southern and eastern Mediterranean – basically covering North Africa, the Middle East, and the Gulf.

At the EBRD, my job is to advise the Board of Directors and senior management on the politics and political economy of the Arab world. I am responsible for specific sections in the Bank’s strategy, risk and strategic foresight products. And I lead on political engagements with the authorities of the countries in the region I cover - in some cases in highly sensitive situations.

I wrote two books. The first, “Egypt on the Brink” (Yale, 2010), published three months before Egypt’s January 2011 uprising, became an international bestseller. The second “Islamism: A History of Political Islam” (Yale, 2017), also received positive reviews in major newspapers and magazines globally.

I wrote and presented several documentary series for BBC Radio-4 and BBC World Service, including “The Making of the Modern Arab World” (the BBC’s largest radio production on the Arab world), “Islam Divided: Sunni-Shii”, “Sands of Time: A History of Saudi Arabia”, and an episode in the series “Minds at War”.

I wrote and presented a 12-episodes programme for CNN Arabic focusing on the impact of different international trends and developments on the Arab world.

I wrote dozens of essays and articles that were published in Foreign Affairs magazine (in the US), The Times (of London), Le Figaro (France), De VolksKrant (the Netherlands), The Japan Times, Ahram (Egypt), the National (UAE), and many others. Project Syndicate has syndicated several of my articles in Europe and Asia.

I repeatedly contributed to the annual publications of the European Commission’s Strategy & Policy Analysis System, and to Project Syndicate’s ‘The World in …’ (for the World Economic Forum).

I have lectured at Oxford University and the American University in Cairo.

Before writing professionally, broadcasting leisurely, & working at the EBRD, I spent ten years in strategy consulting, corporate finance, and private equity.