aaron stein

Aaron Stein

Board of Directors
President, Foreign Policy Research Institute

A leader in the national security space with over 10 years of think tank and consulting experience, Dr. Stein most recently served as the Chief Content Officer at War on the Rocks/Metamorphic Media, where he led the company’s editorial strategy and hosted the War on the Rocks podcast.  

Previously he served as FPRI’s Director of Research from 2020-2022, and Director of its Middle East Program from 2019-2022. During his tenure as Director of Research, Dr. Stein spearheaded a variety of projects, including a comprehensive study of Russia’s Way of War in Syria, an edited volume on Iraqi politics, an analysis of regional security dynamics in the East Mediterranean, and a variety of reports examining great power competition in the Middle East. During this time he also launched FPRI’s flagship podcast, Chain Reaction, which has since expanded into a network of several series.

Most recently, as a Black Sea Fellow in FPRI’s Eurasia Program in 2023, Dr. Stein co-authored the report Turkey’s New Foreign Policy: Ankara’s Ambitions, Regional Responses, and Implications for the United States, and led a Track 2 dialogue on Nuclear Stability and Escalation Risks in Europe.

Prior to joining FPRI, Dr. Stein was a resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council and held fellowships at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (Switzerland), the Royal United Services Institute (London), and the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (Istanbul).

Dr. Stein holds a BA in politics from the University of San Francisco and an MA in international policy studies with a specialization in nonproliferation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Dr. Stein received his PhD in Middle East and Mediterranean studies at Kings College, London. He is the author of The US War Against ISIS: How America and its Allies Defeated the Caliphate (Bloomsbury, 2021) and Turkey’s New Foreign Policy: Davutoglu, the AKP, and the Pursuit of Regional Order (Routledge, 2015). His commentary has been published in Foreign Affairs, Survival, RUSI Journal, War on the Rocks, and The American Interest. He also co-hosts the Arms Control Wonk podcast, a leading series on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.