Prof. Gareth R V Stansfield
Honorary President of Iraq Energy Institute (IEI)
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean College of Social Sciences, and the International Studies University of Exeter.
Gareth Stansfield, the Honorary Professor of Iraq Energy Institute, is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter, where is also Professor of Middle East Politics and the Al-Qasimi Chair of Arab Gulf Studies. He has previously served as the Director of the University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) – one of the leading institutes of its kind in the world for the study of the Middle East and North Africa region. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and TE Lawrence Fellow of the Council on Geostrategy, London. He was a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) between 2010 and 2020, a Global Fellow (2015-17) of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC between 2015-17, and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House, between 2002 and 2010. From 2012-14, he was the inaugural Honorary Professorial Research Fellow attached to the Middle East and North Africa Research Group of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
A regular commentator and adviser on Middle East politics over the last decade, focusing in particular on the politics and political economy of Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, dynamics of Gulf/Arabian peninsula security, and questions of post-conflict stabilization and nation/state-building, Stansfield is one of a handful of academics to have lived and worked in pre-regime change Iraq for an extensive period of time, between 1996 and 2001. He subsequently was a Leverhulme Trust post-doctoral fellow at Exeter, between 2002-04, where he focused principally on Shi’i politics in Iraq and then the political and economic development of post-2003 Iraq. He has significant fieldwork experience in a range of countries in the Middle East and the Islamic World, including Iraq, Syria, Morocco, the Arab states of the Gulf, and Afghanistan.
He has engaged extensively with the policy-making community. In 2009, he served as a Senior Political Adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), with special reference to the situation in Kirkuk and Iraq’s disputed territories. Since 2017, he has been a member of the Civilian Stabilisation Group of the UK government’s Stabilisation Unit. During his career at Exeter, he has held research grants from the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the British Council, and the United States Institute for Peace.