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.

More Experts

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

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a July 14, 2015 news conference that Israel would not be bound by the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran

    Peace in the Middle East: America's New Post-Iran Deal Challenge

    It is no surprise that the final Iran nuclear deal was met with opposition in Israel and Saudi Arabia. For all the talk about whether or not this is a good deal, negotiating with Iran was the original sin from their perspective.

    Jul 20, 2015 The National Interest

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waves after a plenary session at the UN building, Vienna, July 14, 2015

    The Iran Nuclear Deal: RAND Experts Answer Questions About the Days Ahead

    Diplomats have reached a nuclear agreement with Iran. Now, the United States faces important policy decisions that will help shape the days ahead and the relationship that emerges between Iran and the other parties involved.

    Jul 14, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in front of Palais Coburg, the venue for the Iran nuclear talks, Vienna, Austria, July 5, 2015

    Here's What Will Happen If the Iran Deal Falls Through

    Even a strong nonproliferation agreement that prevents all pathways toward the Iranian bomb won't magically transform the Middle East. But on balance, the region would be better off with a good nuclear deal than without one.

    Jul 7, 2015 Foreign Affairs

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and staff watch a tablet in Lausanne, Switzerland as President Barack Obama addresses the status of the Iran nuclear talks, April 2, 2015

    Don't Call It a Shakeup: Why the Nuclear Deal Won't Change U.S. Regional Politics

    The United States can't wait for a final nuclear deal with Iran to begin thinking through how to manage its aftermath. The challenges ahead are already clear. Washington should prepare for them by setting aside old formulas that have failed to advance stability.

    Apr 10, 2015 Foreign Affairs

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks after nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2, 2015

    RAND Experts Q&A on the Iran Nuclear Framework

    President Barack Obama hailed last week's framework for an Iranian nuclear accord as a 'historic understanding,' and there was celebration in Iran, but many challenges remain.

    Apr 6, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • A balloonist fires the burners of his hot air balloon during the Tunisian Balloon Festival in Hammamet March 22, 2015

    Tunisia Could Be a Model for What Works in the Mideast

    Tunisia has a shot at showing that a different model in the region can succeed, a model of inclusion, tolerance and economic prosperity. It has a lot of work ahead of it, but the vision is there.

    Mar 24, 2015 Los Angeles Times

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union, as campaign billboards rotate in Tel Aviv, March 9, 2015

    New Israeli Government, New Position on Iran?

    With elections taking place in Israel today, would a change of leadership lead to a fundamentally different Israeli stance on a nuclear deal? You'd think the answer was easy. But it's not.

    Mar 17, 2015 Newsweek

  • A woman carries a baby inside Al-Karameh refugee camp beside the Syrian-Turkish border, January 10, 2015

    Syrian Refugees: A Blessing in Disguise?

    To avoid further resentment and restrictions on Syrians desperate to escape their war-torn country, as well as the instability such attitudes generate, the international community must work with host governments to increase and highlight the benefits refugee populations can bring to neighboring states.

    Feb 2, 2015 The National Interest

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif before a meeting in Vienna November 23, 2014

    An Iran Nuclear Deal Is Still Possible, and Here's Why

    The United States and other world powers returned to the negotiating table this week to try to finalize a nuclear agreement with Iran after announcing a seven-month extension in late November. How did the parties get this far?

    Dec 19, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the 69th U.N. General Assembly on September 29 that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far greater threat to the world than Islamic State militants

    Not to Worry, Israel

    Some Israelis worry that America's fight against the Islamic State group is distracting from the Iranian nuclear challenge. But the idea that the U.S. would make additional concessions to Iran in the nuclear negotiations because of the anti-Islamic State group effort is not based on realities on the ground.

    Oct 23, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a joint news conference with Egypt's foreign minister in Cairo, September 13, 2014

    The U.S. Can't Count on Regional Support in the Fight Against ISIS

    Regional governments may put some of their differences aside to help fight ISIS. But in a region rife with turmoil and multiple internal fissures, Washington cannot count on its confrontation with ISIS as its partners' overriding priority.

    Sep 16, 2014 The New York Times

  • 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 Foreign Affairs

  • 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 Foreign Affairs

  • 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, The Great Debate blog

  • 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 18, 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