Meet the Team

Chairman

Dr Adel Zaid Altoraifi
Chairman and Managing Director

Dr Adel Zaid Altoraifi is a journalist and a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs, focusing on Saudi-Iranian relations and foreign policy decision-making in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. He is a board member of the General Authority for Culture in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, and is the chairman of Conrad Holdings Ltd.

As the Minister of Culture for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2017 and member of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, Dr Adel participated in the development of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision and the 2020 National Transformation Plan and chaired the media campaign to promote these programmes.

He also chaired the media committee for the 2016 and 2017 government budget announcements and served as a member of the Security and Political Affairs Council.

Read more at https://altoraifi.me

@altoraifi

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Our Team

Dr Neil Quilliam
CEO

Dr Neil Quilliam is an energy policy, geopolitics and foreign affairs specialist, with extensive knowledge and experience of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He is an associate fellow with Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme and headed the programme’s Future Dynamics in the Gulf project.

Prior to that, Neil was project director of the Syria and Its Neighbours policy initiative and acting head of the MENA Programme, having first joined Chatham House as a senior research fellow in January 2014.

He has also served as senior MENA energy adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), senior MENA analyst at Control Risks, London, and senior programme officer at the United Nations University, Amman.

Neil has lived in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE, and has travelled extensively around the MENA region, working on a variety of development, education and research projects.
He has published a number of books and articles on international relations and political economy of Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the GCC states.

@NeilQuilliam1

For media enquiries, please email contact@castlereagh.net

Amy Stapleton
Editor-in-Chief

Amy Stapleton is the Executive Editor at Castlereagh Associates. She specialises in shaping top-quality content for publishing online and in print.

Before joining Castlereagh, Amy worked as a web editor at The Oxford Business Group (OBG), which produces economic intelligence on markets in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. As Web Editor, Amy managed the production of the company’s online economic and investment news. Prior to that, she was a sub-editor at OBG’s Istanbul branch.

Amy has a BA in English Literature from Lancaster University. She has lived and worked in a number of countries around the world, including Japan, Turkey and Germany.

For media enquiries, please email contact@castlereagh.net

Rachna Uppal
Research Analyst – Financial Markets

Rachna Uppal is a financial markets analyst, specialising in the Gulf region. Before joining Castlereagh Associates, she worked as a financial journalist at Thomson Reuters in Dubai, covering fixed income news for the Gulf region, and as a senior business correspondent at a Dubai-based national daily.
Rachna has also worked in London as an analyst in the Environmental and Sustainability department at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and in Brussels, where she specialised in EU policymaking, lobbying and communications.

She holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from The London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) in European Politics and French from King’s College London. A fluent French speaker, Rachna also holds a diploma in Political and Social Studies from Sciences-Po, Paris.

For media enquiries, please email contact@castlereagh.net

Daniel Moshashai
Regional Analyst

Daniel Moshashai is the regional analyst at Castlereagh Associates. He specialises in Iran, the GCC, economic diversification in national agendas and geopolitics in the Middle East.

Daniel is fluent in Persian and French and has working knowledge of German, Italian, Turkish and Arabic. He has a BA in politics from SOAS University of London and an MA in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Prior to joining Castlereagh, Daniel was a Sponsored Scholar at the International Institute of Strategic Studies and served an internship at the German Development Organisation. His international experience spans France, Iran, Italy, Austria and the UK.

Daniel has been published in “Saudi Arabia Plans for Its Economic Future: Vision 2030, the National Transformation Plan, and Fiscal Reforms in Saudi Arabia” (British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies).

For media enquiries, please email contact@castlereagh.net

Senior Advisors

Dr Sanam Vakil

Dr Sanam Vakil is a Middle East specialist and academic providing political risk and policy analysis of regional and geopolitical developments, particularly in Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf states, Syria and Egypt.
Sanam is a senior research fellow in Chatham House’s Middle East North Africa Programme, where she heads the Future Dynamics in the Gulf project and the Iran Forum.

She is also a professorial lecturer in the Middle East Studies Department at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS Europe) in Italy and has previously worked as an assistant professor of Middle East Studies at SAIS Washington.

Sanam’s research focuses on Gulf geopolitics and future trends in Iran’s domestic and foreign policy, and her areas of expertise include US foreign policy to the Middle East, civil society development and gender.
She also follows wider Middle Eastern issues as a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, associated with the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Sanam’s past experience includes research positions with the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Department.

She is the author of “Action and Reaction: Women and Politics in Iran” (Bloomsbury 2013) and publishes analysis and comments for a variety of media and academic outlets.

@SanamVakil

For media enquiries, please email contact@castlereagh.net

Dr Karen Young

Dr Karen Young is an academic specialising in the political economy of the Middle East, the GCC and the Arabian Peninsula.

Karen is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington DC and a professorial lecturer at George Washington University. She also heads a seminar on the emerging markets of the Middle East and North Africa at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Before joining AEI, Karen was a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, a Washington-based think tank, and held academic positions at leading universities both in the US and overseas, including the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the American University of Sharjah in the UAE.

Karen is the author of “The Political Economy of Energy, Finance and Security in the United Arab Emirates: Between the Majilis and the Market” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and has been published in a variety of policy journals.

Her analysis and commentary has appeared in the popular press, including Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Opinion, the Financial Times and FT Beyond Brics, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Al Monitor and Lawfare.

@ProfessorKaren

For media enquiries, please email contact@castlereagh.net

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