The Century Foundation (TCF), a leading 100-year-old progressive think tank, today announced the addition of two new fellows to its foreign policy team, Daniel Benaim and Dahlia Scheindlin. At TCF, Benaim will work on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with a focus on crafting and advancing progressive U.S. foreign policy, while Scheindlin’s work will focus on Israeli politics, U.S.-Israel relations, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Dan and Dahlia share a demonstrated commitment to research, writing, and policy analysis that is not only world-class, but is also rooted in a desire to improve U.S. foreign policy, promote international cooperation, and, ultimately, better people’s lives,” said Mark Zuckerman, president of The Century Foundation. “I’m thrilled to welcome them—and the deep expertise and experience they bring—to the TCF team.”
TCF’s foreign policy team, led by senior fellows Michael Wahid Hanna and Thanassis Cambanis, also includes fellows Dina Esfandiary, Aron Lund, and Stephen Schlesinger, in addition to many scholars who contribute research and writing. Recent TCF foreign policy projects include research into: efforts to advance universal rights and inclusive citizenship in the Middle East; the possibilities for creating regional security architecture and managing conflict amid regional instability; and political experimentation in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.
Benaim and Scheindlin join TCF as the team sets to expand its research and writing on both the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the run up to the 2020 presidential elections, beginning with a multi-part series this fall on what progressive U.S. foreign policy should look like. The team is also ramping up production of its TCF World podcast series, which was launched in 2018 and features episodes with many of the world’s leading researchers, activists, and journalists discussing topics ranging from U.S.-Iran relations to LGBTI rights in Egypt to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Both Benaim and Scheindlin begin their fellowships in September. Their full bios can be found below.
Daniel Benaim is a fellow at The Century Foundation. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and part-time faculty in the Program in International Relations at New York University (NYU). Benaim works on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Previously, he served as Middle East policy adviser and foreign policy speechwriter at the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. Senate. He was also an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Until June 2015, Benaim was foreign policy speechwriter and Middle East adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, traveling with the vice president to twenty-five countries. Before that, he wrote speeches for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Deputy Secretaries Bill Burns and Tom Nides and served as a member of Secretary Clinton’s policy planning staff covering Egypt. Benaim also has been a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chief speechwriter to former Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and a detailee to the National Security Council staff.
Benaim has designed and taught courses at NYU, including on diplomatic speechwriting, the U.S. response to the 2011 Arab Revolutions, and contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy. As a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, he has conducted extensive field research and published reports and long-format writings on U.S. policies toward Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, and Arab-African ties, and testified before Congress on Trump’s Middle East policies.
Benaim’s writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the New Republic. He received his MA in law and diplomacy from The Fletcher School and his BA in English literature from Yale University. He was a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dahlia Scheindlin is a fellow at The Century Foundation. She is a public opinion expert and an international political and strategic consultant, as well as a scholar and a writer. She has advised and conducted research on seven national campaigns in Israel over twenty years, and has provided research and advising for elections, referendums, and civil society campaigns in fifteen different countries (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, the United States, and Zanzibar).
In the past, she has worked as a senior analyst for the Washington-based global firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR), the director of international campaigns at GCS Issue Management, and a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute. As an independent consultant, she conducts extensive public opinion and policy research on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the peace process (including working for Prime Minister Ehud Barak during the Camp David negotiations in 2000, through GQRR), along with issues of democracy, human rights, minority relations, religious identity, Arab-Jewish relations, and foreign affairs for a wide range of NGOs. She also conducts the ongoing joint Israeli–Palestinian public opinion survey together with the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
Scheindlin completed her PhD at Tel Aviv University in political science, where she wrote about unrecognized states emerging from ethno-nationalist conflicts (focusing on Kosovo, Northern Cyprus and Nagorno-Karabakh). She has taught as an adjunct lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University, the Jezreel Valley College, and at Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus. She has given individual lectures at Columbia, Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, American University, and the George Washington University.
Scheindlin is a founding member and regular columnist at +972 Magazine. She has been a fellow at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights and is currently a policy fellow at Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, where she focuses on comparative conflict analysis. She is co-host of the podcast The Tel Aviv Review, on TLV1 Radio, together with Gilad Halpern.