Dalia Dassa Kaye

Photo of Dalia Kaye
Director, Center for Middle East Public Policy; Senior Political Scientist
Santa Monica Office

Education

Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in political science, University of California, Berkeley

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Dalia Dassa Kaye is the director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. In 2011-2012 she was a visiting professor and fellow at UCLA's International Institute and Burkle Center. Before joining RAND, Kaye served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow at the Dutch Foreign Ministry. She also taught at the University of Amsterdam and was a visiting scholar at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. From 1998 to 2003, Kaye was an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University. She is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Brookings Institution research fellowship and The John W. Gardner Fellowship for Public Service. Kaye publishes widely on Middle East regional security issues, including in journals like Survival, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, Foreign Policy, and Middle East Policy. She is author of Talking to the Enemy: Track Two Diplomacy in the Middle East and South Asia (RAND), Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process (Columbia University Press) and has co-authored a number of RAND monographs on a range of regional security issues. Kaye received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Previous Positions

Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Foreign Policy Studies Fellow, Brookings Institution; Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The George Washington University; Visiting Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam

Selected Publications

Dalia Dassa Kaye and Eric Lorber, "Containing Iran: What Does it Mean?" Middle East Policy, 2012

Dalia Dassa Kaye, "The Middle East WMD-Free Zone Conference: A Reset for Regional Arms Control?" Nonproliferation Review, 2012

Dalia Dassa Kaye and Frederic Wehrey, "Arab Spring, Persian Winter: Will Iran Emerge the Winner From the Arab Revolt?" Foreign Affairs, 2011

Dalia Dassa Kaye, Alireza Nader and Parisa Roshan, Israel and Iran: A Dangerous Rivalry, RAND Corporation (MG-1143-OSD), 2011

Dalia Dassa Kaye and Frederic Wehrey, "A Nuclear Iran: The Reactions of Neighbours," Survival, 2007

Dalia Dassa Kaye, Talking to the Enemy: Track Two Diplomacy in the Middle East and South Asia, RAND (MG-592-NSRD), 2007

Dalia Dassa Kaye, "Bound to Cooperate? Transatlantic Policy in the Middle East," The Washington Quarterly, 2003

Dalia Dassa Kaye, Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, Columbia University Press, 2001

Honors & Awards

  • International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Brookings Research Fellowship, The Brookings Institution
  • The John Gardner Fellowship for Public Service, University of California, Berkeley

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: United Press International

Commentary

  • A demonstrator, her face painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, outside the Israeli Embassy in London, July 26, 2014

    Gaza and the Nuclear Negotiations

    Whether a deal materializes that meets Iranian demands for a civilian nuclear program, but is limited enough to satisfy the United States and its partners remains to be seen. But the longer the Gaza conflict continues, the harder it'll be to insulate the negotiations from broader regional trends, which doesn't bode well for a successful outcome.

    Jul 28, 2014 | ForeignAffairs.com

  • Members of Iran's Basij militia march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war, September 22, 2010

    The Fallacy of Iranian Leverage

    Rather than helping Iran in the nuclear negotiations, Iran's battle against the ISIS could actually hurt it. The broader strategic dynamics were already working against Iran, and the situation in Iraq has only made that more true.

    Jun 27, 2014 | ForeignAffairs.com

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, displaying on Monday what Israel said were seized Iranian-supplied missiles bound for militants in Gaza. He called on the West not to be fooled by Tehran's diplomatic outreach over its nuclear program.

    Iran Deal: Will Israel Play Spoiler?

    Israel will not embrace an agreement that is likely to leave in place some limited Iranian nuclear enrichment and infrastructure, but it nonetheless will not likely derail a deal with actions like a military strike.

    Mar 12, 2014 | The National Interest

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    A Different Israeli Take on Iran

    An agreement did not come out of last week's talks. But when the participants resume negotiations later this month, they should keep one thing in mind: Not all Israelis are as alarmed about a potential deal as Netanyahu. Despite Netanyahu's hard line, many Israelis believe diplomacy can work.

    Nov 12, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

  • U.N. chemical weapons investigation team in Damascus

    US Should Keep Focus on Syria, Not Iran

    Those arguing for US-led airstrikes based on the premise of preventing a precedent with Iran would only make it easier for Iran and Syria to paint military action against the brutal Assad regime as an Israeli-inspired scheme rather than a regionally and internationally supported option, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Sep 6, 2013 | Al-Monitor

  • Buildings in Syria damaged by bombings

    Learning the Wrong Lessons from Israel's Intervention in Syria

    The lesson here is not that countries should act for the sake of maintaining credibility but that they should act when they believe it serves their interests and might make a difference, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    May 14, 2013 | Reuters

  • President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013

    Israeli Election Not Likely to End Pressure on Obama for Iran Action

    In the absence of any diplomatic breakthrough and the continued advance of Iran's nuclear enrichment program this year, we can expect Israeli leaders across the political spectrum to press the Obama administration for military options, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Jan 23, 2013 | RAND.org

  • Gov. Mitt Romney in the third U.S. presidential debate on October 22, 2012

    A Crucial Difference on Iran

    The dilemma is how sanctions and pressure would dissuade Iran's leaders from pursuing their nuclear program (as Mr. Romney recommended) if a President Romney wouldn't agree to sit down and talk with them, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Oct 23, 2012 | NYTimes.com

  • news stories about Iran and Israel showing in the Al Jazeera English newsroom

    Israel, Iran, and the Redline Debate

    Politicizing the Iran-Israel issue at Monday's presidential debate could prove a setback for efforts to ultimately prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Oct 17, 2012 | RAND.org

  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    How to Tackle Iran

    Instead of committing the United States to take military action against Iran, a better option would be convincing more Israeli leaders and people that a military attack is still a bad idea if the goal is to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Sep 6, 2012 | CNN

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and U.S. President Barack Obama

    Concerns Over Protecting Israel's Credibility May Heighten Odds of Iran War

    Despite the unprecedented levels of U.S. assistance and military cooperation with Israel in recent years, Netanyahu's government does not appear convinced that the United States will deal with Iran down the road if Israel holds off now, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Sep 5, 2012 | The Atlantic

  • The Right Way to Help Syria's Rebels

    The Obama administration has led international efforts to isolate and sanction those most responsible for the regime's violence, and those efforts—along with diplomacy to bring Russia and China along—should be strengthened, write Dalia Dassa Kaye and David Kaye.

    Aug 9, 2012 | Los Angeles Times

  • Israel's Risky Option on Iran

    While a nuclear-armed Iran that hasn't been attacked is dangerous, one that has been attacked may be much more likely to brandish its capabilities, to make sure it does not face an attack again, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Feb 21, 2012 | Los Angeles Times

  • Do Israelis Really Want to Bomb Iran?

    Much has been made over differences between the U.S. and Israeli threat perceptions of Iran, but in fact internal Israeli divisions suggest that the gap may not be as great as some suggest, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Jan 12, 2012 | ForeignPolicy.com

  • A WikiLeaks Disconnect

    Given domestic pressures and intra-Arab rivalries, all Arab states hedge in their policies toward Iran, seeking to rein in Iranian influence but also being mindful of the permanence of Iranian power and the costs of antagonizing it, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Dec 6, 2010 | Los Angeles Times

  • Fifth Columns in the Gulf?

    While the full extent of Iran's current clandestine influence remains murky, the "proxy narrative" is instructive more for what it reveals about Gulf insecurities than any truths about Iran's capabilities or intentions write Frederic M. Wehrey and Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    May 24, 2010 | ForeignPolicy.com

  • Fighting Terror the Cold War Way

    With much talk about how to "win hearts and minds" in the Muslim world, it's surprising that few are looking back to a global contest of ideas that the U.S. and its allies categorically won: the Cold War.

    Oct 14, 2009 | ForeignPolicy.com

  • Defeating Hamas Will Not Defeat Iran

    In the absence of clarity of what Israel hopes to leave behind in Gaza, some observers speculate that the offensive against Hamas has a second target: Iran.... Although Hamas surely benefits from Iranian support, Iran's regional position has little to do with Hamas, writes Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Jan 14, 2009 | ForeignPolicy.com

  • Lebanon's Sectarian Aftershocks

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Lebanon's Sectarian Aftershocks, in United Press International.

    Aug 8, 2006 | United Press International

Publications