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Gregory D. Johnsen

Dr. Gregory D. Johnsen is a former Non-Resident Fellow at the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies where he focused on al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and armed groups in Yemen. Prior to joining the Sana’a Center, Dr. Johnsen served on the Panel of Experts for the UN Security Council on Yemen from 2016 to 2018. He is the author of The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia, which has been translated into multiple languages.

Dr. Johnsen holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and Master’s degrees from Princeton and the University of Arizona. His writing on Yemen – and the wider Gulf – has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and Foreign Policy, among other publications. His journalism has won multiple awards, including a Dirksen Award from the National Press Foundation and, in collaboration with Radiolab, a Peabody Award.

Gregory's latest contributions

Q&A with Anna Karin Eneström, Swedish Ambassador to the UN

November 20, 2020
Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström has been the Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations. On October 12, she spoke with the Sana’a Center’s Gregory Johnsen and Waleed Alhariri about, … Read more

The United States in a World Without Friends

September 8, 2020
Over the past three-and-a-half years, the United States – under President Donald Trump – has extorted partners, belittled allies, and mocked international institutions. Not surprisingly, this sort of … Read more

What Happens After Hadi?

April 15, 2020
It is usually a losing game to predict how many days or years an Arab leader has left in power — even those entering their 80s or 90s. Nevertheless, locally, regionally, and internationally, … Read more

UN Experts Detail Abuses in Yemen; Security Council Shrugs

March 18, 2020
From the beginning of the Yemen conflict in 2015, the United Nations Security Council has been quick to condemn the armed Houthi movement. Initially, at least, this made sense. The Houthis are a … Read more

The End of AQAP as a Global Threat

March 5, 2020
More than 15 years ago, in November 2003, the United States and the then Yemeni government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh defeated the first iteration of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. That victory did not last … Read more