Dr. John Duke Anthony is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. 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. Dr. Anthony currently serves on the United States Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and the Committee’s Subcommittee on Sanctions.
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, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Annually since 2009, he has chaired and served as the core lecturer in the Council’s Annual 10-Week University Student Summer Internship Program’s yearly Academic Seminar on “Arabia and the Gulf.” For the past 40 years, he has been a 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 – the U.S. government’s leading educational preparation programs for select American diplomatic and defense personnel assigned to the Arab world.
Dr. Anthony is a member of the Board of Advisers of the Yemen College for Middle Eastern Studies and The Amin Rihani Institute, and has served as an Associate Professor, Visiting Professor, and/or Adjunct Professor at the American University in Cairo; Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies; the Universities of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas; the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School; the U.S. Joint Intelligence College; and the Virginia Military Institute.
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 Syria, the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf regions, and the broader Arab and Islamic world. In addition to establishing and heading the National Council since its inception, as well as 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, in 1983, 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, Dr. Anthony 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. In May 2008, the Rotary Club of the Nation’s Capital bestowed upon him its first-ever Local Giant Leadership Award. In June 2014, he was awarded the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Distinguished Service Award at ADC’s Annual Convention.
Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1969-1970). Beginning in 1993 and continuing through 2006, Dr. Anthony’s long experience in Yemen led to his being asked to serve as an international observer in each of Yemen’s first four presidential and parliamentary elections. In 1971, he was cosponsored by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State as the sole American scholar allowed to observe at firsthand the process by which Britain proceeded to abrogate its longstanding treaty obligations to administer the defense and foreign relations for nine Arab states lining the coastal regions of eastern Arabia and the Gulf.
Since 1986 and continuing to 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 to the present, he has also served as the principal scholar-escort for delegations to various GCC countries, Egypt, and Yemen comprised of 144 officers assigned to the staff of successive Commanding Generals of the U.S. Central Command.
Dr. Anthony is the author of three books, the editor of a fourth, and 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. He is also editor of the National Council’s quarterly periodical, the Council Chronicle, and lead contributor to the Council’s blog on Arabia, The Gulf, and The GCC. 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.
Among his more recent publications are The United Arab Emirates: Dynamics of State Formation, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), 2002; “The Future Significance of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” in Global Strategic Developments: A Futuristic Vision, Abu Dhabi, UAE: ECSSR, 2012; “The Intervention in Bahrain Through the Lenses of its Supporters” and “Challenges Facing NATO in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq,” both published by ECSSR in the Summer and Fall of 2011; “War with Iran: Regional Reactions and Requirements,” published in Middle East Policy and by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, 2008; “Strategic Dynamics of Iran-GCC Relations,” in Jean-François Seznec and Mimi Kirk, eds., Industrialization in the Gulf: A Socioeconomic Revolution, New York: Routledge, 2011; “Measuring the Iraq War ‘Accomplishments’ Through the Lens of Its Authors: A Preliminary Assessment,” a revised and edited version of an address presented to the Axis for Peace Conference held in Brussels by the Voltaire Network, 2005, published by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; and “Arabia to Asia: The Myths and Merits of an American 'Pivot,'” in Tim Niblock and Steven Hook, eds., The United States and the Gulf: Shifting Pressures, Strategies and Alignments, Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2015. For the past fifteen years, Dr. Anthony has been the annual author of the essays on “Oman” and “Qatar” for the Encyclopedia Britannica, the world’s oldest continuously published encyclopedia in English.
In addition to being the founder of the Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, now in its 24th year, Dr. Anthony has also 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’ governing bodies during his First Class (Senior) 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.
Dr. Anthony 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 SAIS' 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 passed his proficiency exam in French at the Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1966. He passed his proficiency exam in Arabic at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 1969 following study there as well as at Princeton University and the American University in Cairo's Center for Arabic Study Abroad.
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 as well as three grandchildren.