Anna L. Jacobs

Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW

Anna L. Jacobs is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and a contributor to the North Africa Policy Initiative. She is a Doha-based political scientist focusing on foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa. She specializes in the politics of North Africa, global and regional power competition, U.S.-China relations, and U.S. foreign policy. Previously, she was the senior research assistant at the Brookings Doha Center, where she managed the center’s research and publications. Her own work focused on Chinese and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa as well as governance and political economy in the Maghreb countries.

Prior to moving to Doha, she was the academic director and main lecturer in journalism and new media for SIT Study Abroad in Morocco, where she supported American and Moroccan university students conducting research and reporting on Moroccan politics, culture, and society. She was also an adjunct professor at the Ecole de Gouvernance et d’Economie in Rabat, where she taught courses on media and political economy in the Middle East. She has also worked as a political risk consultant and editor. Her work has been published by the Brookings Institution, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera English, The National Interest, Jadaliyya, Muftah Magazine, and other outlets. She is a contributor to the edited volume The European Union and North Africa: Prospects and Challenges (Brookings Institution Press, 2019) as well as a forthcoming volume on China-North Africa relations.

She received a Master of Philosophy in modern Middle Eastern studies from Oxford University specializing in political Islam and Islamist movements, subaltern studies and history from below, the politics of North Africa, and Arabic. Her graduate thesis focused on the political economy of Morocco and the relationship among business interests, media, and human rights. Prior to her graduate studies she received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2011 to study migration and governance in Morocco in the aftermath of the Arab Spring protests. She was a student in the University of Virginia’s Politics Honors program, where she won the Stevenson Award for Best Thesis for her work on migration between North Africa and Europe. She received a Bachelor of Arts in government, foreign affairs, and French from the University of Virginia in 2010.

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External Forces Hold the Key to Libya’s Cease-Fire

There is renewed momentum to resolve Libya’s conflict, but will foreign powers, like the UAE, Turkey, and Russia, abide by the terms of the new cease-fire agreement?

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Strategic Interests Spark Shift in Morocco’s Gulf Ties

Policy decisions implemented by middle powers like Morocco are shedding light on wider regional realignments and their strategic implications.

Publications content-type in which the post is published

Regional and Global Power Competition Deepens Fault Lines Across the Southern Mediterranean

North Africa has become a site of great power competition among the United States, Russia, and China; the location of one of the region’s most protracted violent conflicts; and the scene for regional and Gulf Arab rivalries.

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Gulf Rivalries and Great Power Competition in Libya

With recent transformations in the Libyan civil war, Russia’s expanding presence in North Africa, and congressional pressures, the United States may not be on the sidelines of this conflict for much longer.