Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein is director of MEI's Arabian Peninsula Affairs Program and a distinguished senior fellow on U.S. diplomacy. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career with the personal rank of Career Minister. As a diplomat he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as assignments in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Amb. Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Amb. Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

In addition to his career-long focus on the Near East and South Asia, Amb. Feierstein also played a prominent role in developing and implementing State Department policies and programs to counter violent extremism.  As Deputy Coordinator and Principal Deputy Coordinator in the State Department’s Counter-Terrorism bureau, Amb. Feierstein led the development of initiatives to build regional networks to confront extremist groups as well as to counter terrorist financing and promote counter-terrorism messaging.  He continued to focus on defeating terrorist groups through his subsequent tours as Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan and as Ambassador to Yemen.

Bachelor's from Point Park College, Pittsburgh, PA, 1973; Master's from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1975

Countries/Regions of Expertise:
Arabian Peninsula, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan

Issues of Expertise:
U.S. Middle East policy, Diplomatic Engagement, U.S. Security Policy and Regional Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism