Alexander Werman is a researcher with Control Risks, a specialist global risk consultancy, currently based out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In this role, he analyzes the political, security, and socioeconomic environment in the Middle East and North Africa for businesses, NGOs, and governments that have interests in the region. He completed a bachelors in business administration from Emory University and a Masters in Security Policy Studies from the Elliott School at George Washington University. He completed internships with the Department of State, Atlantic Council, and Search for Common Ground. Prior to joining Control Risks in Dubai, he lived and studied Arabic in Jordan for 9 months.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am a researcher and incident mapper at Control Risks. In this role, I am responsible for updating our database and keeping track of civil unrest and violence in the region. I am also responsible for analyzing conflicts, changes in legal systems, and protests among other events and creating forward-thinking analysis for our clients to use in their decision-making process. One of the best parts of this job is working with a dedicated team that is just as interested in these issues as I am. We are constantly debating how we think certain geopolitical events will play out and the impact it will have for our clients and stakeholders.
When did you realize you wanted an international career?
I think I had a different trajectory than most people I met at Elliott. For me, it took having a job in the accounting field my first year and a half out of college to realize that I wanted something different. Throughout that year and half, I was becoming increasingly interested in what was happening in the world, specifically with ongoing negotiations regarding the Iran nuclear deal. It was during that time that I realized I wanted this type of career.
What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in international relations?
Be willing and ready to commit yourself 100% percent to achieving your goals. If you want to be successful in this competitive field you need to be ready to go the extra mile. Never turn down a coffee and a chance to hear about someone else’s career and the path they took to where they are today. Push yourself to build a tangible skillset and have diverse, international experiences.
If you could throw a party for any famous diplomat/politician/foreign dignitary, for whom would you plan the party and why?
I would probably go with Richard Holbrooke. He was a man who spent his career in public service trying to solve the world’s biggest problems. I would very much like to hear some of his stories about working on the Dayton Accords negotiations.
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